On January 7th, New York City opened its doors to its first medical marijuana dispensary.
Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, opened this dispensary in hopes to change the way marijuana is currently looked at in New York. “We are opening a new door of patient access, and hopefully we will be able to provide patients with an alternative or substitute form of treatment for some of the qualifying conditions that have been approved under the law.”
At Columbia Care, they will be providing the medicine in three different forms: a tincture that can be placed under the tongue, a concentrate that can be vaporized, and pills that will come in capsules. .
Vita, among others, hopes to provide enough data to the medical community to help turn the policy makers into believers in the efficacy of the product. Many also hope to see marijuana begin to be used as an alternative for the standard of care for some of the terrible illnesses out there.
Although this is a start for the state, there are still many loopholes around the law that many are not happy about. These include onerous restrictions on patients and requirements that doctors who want to pursue the industry take a special class, among others.
The amount of restrictions that this law has placed on medical marijuana has made it hard for businesses and consumers alike to get their hands on the product. The extensive process to get the drug prescribed is deterring people away, forcing them to look elsewhere, and possibly to other far more dangerous prescriptions, for their medical needs.