DPA Report: NY Medical Cannabis Program Hard to Access

The Drug Policy Alliance issued a report saying patients and caregivers in New York State face significant obstacles to obtain medical marijuana because of geographic barriers, high product costs, and a dearth of physicians certified to recommend MMJ.

The findings raise questions about the viability of New York’s medical cannabis industry as it’s currently structured, and whether MMJ prices will need to fall. The program was launched in January.

DPA and Compassionate Care NY, the state’s largest grassroots organization of patients and caregivers, surveyed 255 people who had sought to access the state’s MMJ program.

More than three-quarters of patients and caregivers who bought MMJ from a dispensary said they wouldn’t be able to afford the monthly cost of medicine, while 70% of respondents said their monthly costs were $300 or more.

The report also found that more than half of patients and caregivers who responded hadn’t yet found a doctor to certify them. Among those, about 60% had been trying for three to four months to find a registered physician.

Only 593 New York physicians – less than 1% of all doctors in the state – have registered to certify patients for MMJ, the report said.

The report also said 27% of registered patients/caregivers travelled one to five hours to access a dispensary, while nearly two of five reported the dispensary didn’t carry the specific medical cannabis recommended by their physician.

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2 comments on “DPA Report: NY Medical Cannabis Program Hard to Access
  1. Lawrence D. Goodwin on

    As a New Yorker, I can say with no equivocation that my home state remains one of the main arteries of “marihuana” prohibition. The heart of this beast is the federal Schedule I classification, where the same ridiculous spelling still fraudulently labels female cannabis flowers as a substance with “no currently accepted medical use.” That’s precisely why very conservative New York doctors won’t budge. Plus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his chief suppressor of medical “marihuana,” NY Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, just had to be the mental giants who “recreated the wheel” of patient access by imposing such strict rules about producing and selling dried cannabis flowers. The vaporizable oils, pills and products now made available in New York (by just 5 vertically-integrated companies) are so similar to legal pharmaceuticals that doctors think it’s too close for comfort. Again, they suffer from the same fears of license revocation that doctors have feared since the tyranny of federal “marihuana” law was first imposed in the 1930s. It’s really that simple.

  2. al simon on

    Is anyone surprised that the restrictions in New York and New Jersey are so strict that for all intents and purposes legalized use is still a crime. Both Como and Christie are a major threat to our industry they are examples to other politicians how to get away with screwing the peoples vote at the ballot box. We need to be aware of who is writing the rules and regulations in the states that are reluctantly moving towards legalization it better be us and not the koch brothers.

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