New York Sees a Surge in the Need for More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

New York has only 21 dispensaries. As you can imagine that is not even relatively close to what the demand is calling for. As the requirements for a medical marijuana cards have expanded, the need for marijuana dispensaries has grown even more. The newly expanded requirements of the medical marijuana program will now include people who are prescribed opiates. With one of the biggest drug epidemics on the rise, medical marijuana will help treat these symptoms. The new requirements are aiming to help with opiate dependency symptoms.

With such a need and increase in patients, surely 21 dispensaries statewide is nowhere near what is needed in serving those on the medical marijuana program. Many medical marijuana advocates are advising the state to concurrently increase the number of dispensing sites. The increase would help satisfy the patient’s needs in a way that is effective for their treatment. The amount of patient’s that will now be eligible for the program is expected to be many.

New York’s medical marijuana’s program has been criticized as one of the most restrictive in the United States. The prescription opiates like hydrocodone and oxycodone are the most common types of pain treatment in the US. The goal is for those who take opiates to use medical marijuana to successfully get off the prescription pain meds. Hopefully most medical doctors will attempt to help their patients with the transition. Many people prescribed these opioid medications can be subject to drug testing based on their doctors, hospital, or DEA prescription medication guidelines. Just like the differentiation with marijuana laws on a federal and state level. The complications can arise for those seeking marijuana and prescription medication at the same time.

If many states like New York, can prove that moving patients off of prescription pain medications and onto the medical marijuana program could dramatically help in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic. The epidemic has been created by a surge in heroin and prescription fentanyl use. This has severely impacted the lives of people who are addicted and those in the community. Many low income communities have been affected the most.

Medical marijuana has become known as a safe and effective treatment for patients who are looking for short and long term pain relief. Marijuana is much less addictive, if addictive at all compared to opioids. To date, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. Research suggests that medical marijuana could cut down on opioid use and overdose deaths. States who currently have medical cannabis programs, like California have found to have a much lower rate of prescription opioid deaths. Some states report up to 25% decrease in opiate related deaths. Other states have found that there is a 5% decrease in prescribing opioids.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries -Finddanweed

New York has openly discussed their plan for combating its severe opioid epidemic by increasing medical marijuana use. The real need is adding additional medical marijuana dispensaries directory. Many believe that this will save countless number of lives. If New York is serious about combating this issue, the real need for change is adding more dispensaries to the list. If patients have no way to get their medical marijuana, they will return back to the opiates to satisfy their relief of pain.

Many people would be surprised to know that there are zero dispensaries in Brooklyn and Staten Island. This leaves patients to drive over an hour or more to get there medical marijuana. With only 21 sites in the state of New York, they must currently serve nearly 60,000 patients. This severely drives up the price of marijuana. Compared to California or Oregon where it’s readily available and grow limits are higher, the prices hold at an affordable value.

New York has proposed that more sites are expected to open soon and next year. The state’s Health Department has increased the amount of medical marijuana dispensaries from 5 to 10 that are allowed to operate in New York. With these rules, each one company owned dispensary is allowed to have 1 grow facility and 4 dispensaries. This leaves 40 dispensaries to operate under New York’s medical marijuana law.

A bill going through the senate will double the number of dispensaries for those that have a medical marijuana dispensary company license. This will bring the total to 80. By doubling the amount that they have now, this will greatly help with serving patients with opioid dependencies. There are 3 dispensaries that offer home delivery options which are highly requested by patients, especially those who live far from the physical dispensary. It also makes the ability to access the medication for those who are physically limited much greater.

Many other states have expressed their concerns it will not be enough to make a dent in the epidemic. Mostly because of how restricted and high the prices of medical marijuana are in New York. Another issue is that patients are limited to a 30 day supply under New York state law. If they would increase the amount of medicine to a 60-90 day supply, this would allow patients take home a longer supply which would thus improve accessibility to their medicine.

New York has felt caught up between the federal and state control of marijuana. Since it is federally illegal to possess medical marijuana, all patients must pay with cash. This greatly restricts the amount of people that can access the medicine. The state of New York supports medical cannabis directory over opioids when it comes to treating pain.

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