By Lisa Rough
The five companies chosen to cultivate and distribute for New York’s medical marijuana program are hurtling towards January’s debut date and firing on all cylinders to make it happen. Prospective patients have been anxiously awaiting the launch of a much-needed medical marijuana program, and at long last the time has come.
New York’s State Department of Health launched the Medical Marijuana Patient Certification and Registration Program. Doctors must be registered in order to make the recommendation, which involves a $200 fee and a four-hour training course.
In order for patients to qualify for the program, they must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Create an account with my.ny.gov
- Have a photo identification
- Be able to prove he or she resides in New York state
- Pay a $50 application fee (unless it is waived for financial hardship)
- Receive a DOH Medical Marijuana Program certification from a registered doctor before applying for a registry identification card, which will be mailed upon approval
- Qualify under the conditions specified in the law:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s Disease
As for the state’s five dispensing organizations, here’s an update on when they’re expected to open:
- Columbia Care — CEO Nick Vita confirmed that the organization was on track for the opening regulatory date of January 5, 2016, and it will be opening a dispensary location in Rochester first.
- Etain, LLC. — It’s optimistic that it will open its five dispensaries on a rolling basis starting in late January with its Syracuse location on Erie Blvd.
- Empire State Health Solutions — It’s planning to open its Westchester location on January 5, 2016, but it’s been under radio silence to the media for the past couple of months, so we’re not sure how far along it is with the process.
- Bloomfield Industries — Its first dispensary will be located on Marcus Ave in unincorporated Lake Success. Although it anticipates a January premiere, it has not set a firm opening date yet.
- PharmaCann — It’s been quite busy in the recent months pioneering the rough terrain of Illinois’ new medical market, but it looks like this organization will also be ready to open doors at its Liverpool location by the second week of January.
Quite an impressive display of determination, which should give some hope to the patients that have been eagerly watching and waiting for access. January can’t come soon enough!
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