It is a notoriously difficult task to get your hands on legal marijuana in New York State. While that holds true, several new policies from the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo are looking to make access to the state’s medical marijuana program a bit easier for licensed patients. Under the new ordinances, patients too sick to travel can have their medical marijuana delivered, and nurse practitioners may now approve patients for access to the medical marijuana.

The state is also considering expanding its list of medical conditions that would qualify patients to be apart of states the medical marijuana program to include mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. As of now, only a handful of severe, “Debilitating or life-threatening” conditions make patients eligible for medical marijuana treatment.

New York’s medical marijuana program is arguably known to be one of the most restrictive and cumbersome programs in the united states, leaving patients and advocates frustrated, however, plenty of states have yet to legalize cannabis in any form. In the states of California, which is known to have the most lenient medical marijuana rules and regulations, patients can obtain a recommendation and product without leaving the comfort if their desks.

Patients can begin to order delivery by the end of September. New York may also double the number of companies allowed to open dispensaries in the state, from five to 10. Currently, there are only 17 dispensaries statewide, which is a number many advocates consider too small to serve the state’s 20 million residents. The state expects to implement all 12 of the Health Department’s recommendations, the Times reports. In the meantime, patients may rest easy knowing New York is making good on its promise to evolve its nascent medical marijuana program.


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