New York Governor Unaware of MMJ Program Problems

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After a recent study sharply criticized New York State’s medical marijuana program, the state’s governor said he was unaware of concerns that both patients and caregivers were having difficulty getting access to medical cannabis.

“I haven’t heard issues that people can’t find access,” Cuomo told reporters in Buffalo when asked about the criticism, according to The Journal News. “You don’t have one on every corner because you don’t have that kind of demand. But if you need the drug, you can get the drug.”

Earlier this month, the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance issued a report saying patients and caregivers in New York 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 currently structured, and whether MMJ prices will need to fall.

Cuomo’s lack of awareness, meanwhile, raises questions about his commitment to fixing the program, which was launched in January.

“Now that I know he isn’t aware of it, I’m going to make sure he knows,” New York state Sen. Diane Savino, a longtime MMJ advocate, told the Journal News.

She said the program can be improved through administrative changes, such as expanding the list of who can recommend medical cannabis.