New York authorities have recently announced that the state is going to widen access to medical cannabis. However, recreational weed will remain illegal.
According to the New York State Department of Health, chronic pain will soon be added to the list of conditions that qualify for using medical cannabis. Currently, only patients with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS as well as some other serious conditions can legally obtain the herb. Adding the new condition to the list will both help thousands of patients and develop New York’s medical cannabis program.
Despite the new rule, New York is still a state with some of the strictest medical marijuana laws in the U.S. Weed products are still available only in the non-smokable form. Moreover, only five medical marijuana companies, PharmaCann, Bloomfield Industries Inc., Columbia Care NY, Etain Health, and Vireo Health, can legally operate in the state of New York.
When it comes to the legalization of recreational cannabis, it may take much more time. New York does not allow for voter-driven ballot initiatives, which creates a number of obstacles for weed activists that are making efforts towards the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state. However, marijuana enthusiasts believe that nearby states, such as Maine and Massachusetts, which have recently legalized recreational cannabis, will become a great example for New York’s authorities.
There is some more good news for New Yorkers. Last month, New York nurse practitioners were allowed to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients. So, will New York become the next state to ease its laws on both medical and recreational marijuana? We hope it is just a matter of time.