New Yorkers will buy medical marijuana next month if they hurry to register in the program. The Health Department of the state has opened its online applications on Wednesday.
As soon as next month five manufacturers are going to open 20 dispensaries placed all over New York where patients will be able to buy their weed.
The health commissioner of NY, Dr. Howard Zucker says that the program is coming in the help of those patients who need marijuana to treat the symptoms of their affections.
The cannabis products will be available in different forms but not for smoking.
However, the state has been criticized for not allowing enough time for patients and doctors to enrol in the program. The deadline given by the state is January 5. The Health Department has to certify physicians who will prescribe the marijuana and until now no lists of physicians have been made public. The doctors will have to take an online course which lasts about four hours before being certified to prescribe the drug.
After getting certified, physicians will be able to release certificates for patients who will then have to apply online for an identification card.
For the identification card patients will need, besides their doctor’s approval, a photo for identification and proof of residency in the New York state. For some patients, such as youth under 18, the information of their caregivers will also be needed. The registry card costs $50.
As stated in the Compassionate Care Act, the law of medical marijuana approved in 2014, the state has issued a list of affections eligible to be treated with the help of medical marijuana.
The eligible illnesses include: Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease, neuropathy, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The five approved manufacturing facilities are in Orange County, Warren County, Fulton County, Rochester and Queens but dispensaries will also be opened in other counties.
Some of them will open during the first days of the new year while others will open later but all should be serving clients by the beginning of February.
The CEO of Vireo Health, Kyle Kingsley, the manufacturer from Fulton County says that patients should be patient while the program is still at the beginning. He claims that the system will expand with time as more doctors get certified and more patients get enrolled.
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