New York Medical Marijuana program has been strongly critiqued by proponents of MMJ programs, primarily for being too strict. The NYS Department of Health announced new proposed regulations last month, opening them up for public commentary for a still-ongoing 30-day period before they can be adopted.
New York Medical Marijuana, signed into law in 2014, had low initial patient registration numbers in comparison to other state programs, but the hope is that new regulatory changes will reinvigorate the program–and make it easier to utilize as a patient.
There are a few major changes: new products will be made available, dispensary procedures will be improved, certification processes will be shortened, PTSD will be added as a qualifying condition, refining the training program for practitioners, and more.
New products that would be available under new regulations would include topicals like lotions, tablets, lozenges, and patches, as well as non-smokeable forms of ground plant material, giving MMJ patients variety closer to medical marijauna programs in other states.
Changes in the dispensary department primarily revolve around customer experience: now, prospective patients and practitioners will be able to enter dispensaries and ask questions about the products available and the program. This will also mean that those who are not designated caregivers of patients can accompany them to the dispensary.
Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a bill that would allow post-traumatic stress disorder to qualify for New York Medical Marijuana, but it still needs to be signed into law by Gov. Cuomo.
The proposed laws also provide for shorter training programs for medical practitioners, providing a two-hour long course in addition to currently available four-hour long courses.
Other changes include streamlining manufacturing requirements, broadening the capabilities of registered organizations to advertise, amendments to security measures for manufacturing, dispensing, and transportation of MMJ products, and clarifying laboratory testing methods.