New York: The Legal Dispensation of Marijuana

marijuanaFive New York pharmaceutical companies will be given a license from the New York State Department of Health to both grow and dispense medical marijuana. These are: Bloomfield Industries Inc., Columbia Care NY LLC, Empire State Health Solutions LLC, Etain and PharmaCann LLC. They were selected out of 43 companies that applied for the licenses.

It is hoped that the medical marijuana program for New York will be fully functioning by early next year. Until that time a lot has to happen, such as, first and foremost the registration of doctors and patients. Doctors need to participate in a four-hour New York State Department of Health-approved course before registering with the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry. Without this no medical marijuana will be sold legally. Even those in desperate need from illnesses such as cancer will not be able to get it and have to date, not been able to access this.

Julie Netherland PhD., Deputy State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance further explained that “in the coming weeks, we will be taking a closer look at the companies to learn what we can about them. And over the long term, we’ll be working to insure they are held to the highest standards of corporate integrity and patient care.”

It was in July of last year that Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act to provide patients who “suffer from designated serious conditions who also have a condition clinically associated with, or a complication of, the serious condition to be certified by their physicians” to be able to access marijuana for medical use.