New York’s Department of Health has announced that the state’s medical cannabis program will be officially underway starting this Thursday, with the opening of multiple dispensaries throughout the state.
“New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program is scheduled to launch on January 7, 2016 — just 18 months after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act”, Department of Health spokesman James Pastiras said in a Tuesday press release.
Dispensaries planning to be open this Thursday include Columbia Care in Manhattan, PharmaCann in Amherst and a dispensary ran by Bloomfield Industries will open in Williamsville.
Under the state’s medical cannabis law, those who receive a recommendation from a state-sanctioned physician are allowed to purchase, possess and consume cannabis medicines, as long as it’s in non-smokeable form (such as tinctures, edibles and pills), and as long as they register with the Health Department.
“Patients in New York have been waiting a long time for the day when they can legally purchase medical marijuana”, says Julie Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance. “We hope the program roll out goes smoothly and that patients will finally have some relief from their suffering.”