As many states in the U.S. employ different approaches for allowing marijuana for medicinal purposes, the state of New York also has its own set of regulations.
But now, the state has issued an update to its existing rules and restrictions governing medical marijuana—the regulations will soon be relaxed.
The Commissioner of Health has issued a description of the proposed changes and is inviting the public to respond with their suggestions and comments to help give insight before formal changes are made to the legal status of medical marijuana in the state.
Current Legality of Medical Marijuana
Before going on to consider the proposed changes, it is essential to understand the way the existing rules operate in the state of New York.
It is broadly accepted that the state does have some of the harshest sets of rules and regulations covering the use of medical marijuana.
One of them is that the drug can be taken in the form of oils or capsules, but cannot be smoked.
Additionally, a person in need of medical marijuana or with an intention of seeking some professional advice cannot enter the authorized dispensaries if they are not in possession of a medical marijuana card.
This was quite irritating to the many people who genuinely sought help for their health conditions.
Without meeting a doctor or counselling executive within the dispensary, it was simply not feasible for them to start on any medication.
And it is not as if the issuing of a medical marijuana card was any insurance against its misuse; there is practically no control over the exact usage of the card.
These are the main reasons why changes to the state’s existing medical marijuana program are necessary; it’s also why so many people connected with the process are welcoming the new proposals.
3 Major Changes Proposed
The state has now proposed some dramatic changes to these rules and regulations.
The updates are aimed to make life easier for the section of the population that desperately needs to undergo treatment with the drug.
These can be described in three major sections:
1. Expanding the Product Range: The state of New York is trying to solve the issue of the limited number of product forms in which medical marijuana is allowed to be consumed by including many other forms, such as lotions, lozenges, tablets or patches.
Possibly, with the comments and suggestions being sought, more ideas may come through in the coming days.
2. Relaxing the Dispensary Interaction Rules: The changes being considered include allowing people to enter dispensaries and interact with the designated individuals who can offer them guidance on what types of medical marijuana are available.
This makes it easier for the person requiring the treatment to make quicker and more informed decisions on the next steps of their treatment.
3. Improving the Certification Program: This step is more in line with the need to streamline the process of issuing medical marijuana cards.
The participating professionals are already required to attend a four-hour training session before they can start issuing medical marijuana cards.
Now, another two-hour training program is being proposed.
The health department is also considering a few other changes, some relating to the product side of the medical marijuana program.
For example, there will be better terms for the manufacturers so that they can improve their processes and make their testing capabilities meet the best standards.
Broad Availability Envisaged
Addressing the issue of limited availability of the drug, the new changes will attempt to increase the number of vendors involved in planting and processing marijuana so that the availability for different treatments is no longer a major issue.
It is certain that the state will receive many new ideas and recommendations to enhance the user experience.
And ideally, as the new changes are proposed, consumers would offer some valuable suggestions to improve the existing system.
Overall, the changes will have to make the workflow smoother for the dispensaries.
If the product base is broadened and more varieties made available to them, they can sell the additional products and feel satisfied with the business being generated.
The state will permit more firms to get into the business of planting, harvesting and extracting the drug under the updated program.
This will also go towards satisfying the needs of the people who require medical marijuana to treat health ailments.