Politico is reporting that the 5 licensed medical cannabis companies in New York have formed the Medical Cannabis Industry Association. The 5 companies include Vireo Health, Bloomfield Industries, Columbia Care, Etain and PharmaCann.
We’re going around giving an update to the program [and] sharing some of our impressions and talking about ways that we think the program can be improved.
Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York
According to the New York State Medical Marijuana Program website, only 574 physicians have registered. The program, which allowed the 5 producers, which each have 4 dispensaries, to open their doors in early January has only 3,841 patients as of May 17th. The program has limited conditions that qualify patients, and it also doesn’t allow for the sale of anything but cannabis liquids and oils for vaporization.
One of the changes that Hoffnung would like to see changed is to allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants, rather than exclusively licensed doctors, to certify seriously ill patients to be eligible for medical marijuana. Adding qualifying conditons and improving access, whether through more dispensaries or the allowance of delivery are other suggestions to improve the program.
Read Josepha Velasquez’s “Licensed marijuana growers to lobby for expanded patient eligibility”: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2016/05/8599425/licensed-marijuana-growers-lobby-expanded-patient-eligibility