Queens, New York currently has one medical marijuana dispensary located in Elmhurst. It opened in January 2016. Last week, the New York State Department of Health announced plans to expand its medical marijuana program. In fact, the department says it will allow Queens to get two more marijuana dispensaries.
That’s right; two new marijuana distribution companies can open up shop in Queens. Therefore, patients in Queens or close to it will soon have plenty more places to get their medical marijuana.
New Dispensaries In Queens
The New York State Department of Health has only been taking baby steps toward expanding the medical marijuana program. In fact, the number of places for MMJ patients to go has been limited and so have their options inside of dispensaries.
But now, the Department plans to improve the program. For starters, they are letting more companies open dispensaries. This creates more competition and options for patients, which should drop prices.
“The New York State Department of Health is committed to growing the state’s Medical Marijuana Program responsibly,” said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
He added: “The addition of these registered organizations will make it easier for patients across the state to obtain medical marijuana, improve the affordability of medical marijuana products through the introduction of new competition, and increase the variety of medical marijuana products available to patients.”
More Options For New York Medical Marijuana Patients
Currently, laws in New York only allow medical marijuana patients to enter dispensaries. However, a new law changes that. Now, anyone can enter a dispensary as a “prospective patient” to find out more about the products and the state’s medical marijuana program.
Also, caregivers will be able to accompany patients to the dispensary. Before the state allows Queens to get two more marijuana dispensaries, they’re also making it easier for patients to get a card.
Additionally, the Department is making it easier for medical marijuana companies to advertise. As a result, you may see new banners for weed showing up soon in Queens. Previously, Queens medical marijuana company Vireo fought with Google over advertisements being blocked.
Another issue patients have had with the New York medical marijuana program is there are so few options at dispensaries. The only three options have been cannabis capsules, THC cartridges, and tinctures.
However, some patients only get the relief they need from smoking the whole plant. Unfortunately, the Department of Health has not announced any plans to allow the sale of cannabis flowers.
On the bright side, patients will soon find more options inside a dispensary. Companies can now sell topicals like lotions, ointments, and patches. The second category they added is a chewable tablet or lozenges.
Final Hit: Queens To Get Two More Marijuana Dispensaries
Two companies got the green light to open dispensaries in Queens. That tripled the number of places you could get cannabis within the borough. With these changes, New York’s Department of Health is taking steps to give patients and distributors more options.