New York: About 1,000 Patients Have Received MMJ

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Although an estimated 2,039 medical cannabis patients in New York have been ruled eligible to purchase marijuana under the state’s law, only about half of those have actually made a purchase, a department of health spokesman told Politico.

New York is one of several states, including Illinois and Minnesota, with relatively new medical marijuana programs that are suffering from low patient registries. The problem is that if something isn’t done to increase the patient pool, businesses won’t be able to afford to keep producing and selling MMJ.

That’s why there are multiple efforts underway to expand the program, including by increasing the number of qualifying ailments, doubling the number of legal dispensaries, and bolstering the number of health care professionals allowed to recommend MMJ for patients.

The estimated 1,000 patients served may still sound like a drop in the potential bucket, but New York businesses began with even less: at the outset in January, a mere 51 patients had registered to purchase cannabis.