With New York’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opening this week, pot enthusiasts throughout the Big Apple may have been looking forward to something like the legendary dispensaries of Colorado, Oregon, or California finally showing up in their neighborhoods.
But anyone envisioning the sights and smells of shelf after shelf of glass bottles filled with any strain imaginable is in for a sad surprise.
Early reports about the New York City’s first dispensary, Colombia Care, have been dismal to say the least.
Amber Sutherland and Natalie O’Neill described it this way:
“The interior features a soothing spa-like setup, but its rules are far from relaxing.”
“Patients must show their medical-marijuana cards and IDs before they’re buzzed into the shop, where no buds or edibles are sold—unlike California’s medical dispensaries, where dozens of strains and edible treats are available.”
“No buds or edibles are sold”? How can they even call themselves a dispensary?
Looks like Big Apple smokers will just have to settle for what can only be described as a weak consolation prize, since Colombia Care does sell some cannabis products like pills, oils, and vape cartridges.
Adding to the disappointment, though, are the state’s strict rules and regulations about who can actually gain access to its dispensaries.
As of now, New York lawmakers have restricted dispensaries to patients dealing with a very limited range of health conditions.
The state’s medical marijuana website says that “only patients with one of the following severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions may qualify for the Medical Marijuana Program: cancer, positive status for HIV or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, or Huntington’s disease.”
“Patients must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms.”
If all this has left New York City pot smokers unhappy or disgruntled, at least they can rely on the age-old method for obtaining weed.
“It’s easier to get weed on the street than in the dispensary,” Sam Charles, who lives in the city’s East Village, told reporters.
“Everyone knows something with number, and you can probably buy it in the park.”