New York MMJ Program Lacking Doctors

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New York’s five licensed medical marijuana companies say they will be ready to open dispensaries next month when the state’s MMJ program officially launches.

The dispensaries might not have many customers to serve, however, as the state’s physician certification and patient registration processes are not yet complete, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Thus far, the New York State Department of Health has not released a list of physicians who are certified to dispense marijuana. The agency also is still in the process of certifying doctors for the program, but very few seem interested in participating.

To become certified, physicians must pass a four-hour online course that costs $249.

As an indicator of problems getting doctors registered for the program, New York state Sen. Diane Savino pointed out that attendance was low at a recent conference in Albany aimed at getting physicians interested in recommending medical marijuana, according to Crain’s New York Business.

Patients can’t register for medical marijuana cards until New York releases the list of physicians registered to recommend cannabis. So the first dispensaries that open might have a very shallow pool of patients at first.