NY Health Dept. Recommends Doubling MMJ Licenses

New York’s health department is recommending several business-friendly changes to the state’s medical marijuana program, including one that would double the number of MMJ licenses.

If adopted, the recommendations – which are intended to improve patient access to medical cannabis – would help galvanize New York’s sluggish marijuana industry.

The health department recommends increasing the number of licensed medical marijuana businesses to 10 from the current five. Under New York’s medical cannabis program, licenses holders are allowed one cultivation site that is vertically integrated with up to four dispensaries.

The report also recommends streamlining manufacturing requirements for marijuana businesses, and allowing them to advertise and make more brands of MMJ products available to patients, according to the Buffalo Business Journal.

The report said the state should permit nurse practitioners to certify patients, consider home delivery, and explore ways for health-care facilities and schools to administer MMJ for patients.

As of early August, New York’s MMJ program had 6,415 patients and 656 registered physicians.

The program has gotten off to a slow start since its launch in January. In June, the Drug Policy Alliance issued a report saying patients and caregivers face significant obstacles to obtain medical marijuana because of geographic barriers, high product costs and a dearth of physicians certified to recommend MMJ.