By Maria Jose Inojosa / Monday, 04 Jan 2016 10:46AM
Albany, New york – A new law that allows to sell Medical Marijuana in the state of New York is set to be launched in the upcomming weeks but even though many ill people might be eagerly awaithing for the law to begin, and even the Jewish comunity have decided to participate by aknowloging the first world kosher-certified medical marijuana, it seems that many other aspects are yet to be determinated.
Medical Cannabis was approved in 2014 but lawmakers gave the state Health Department 18 months to set up the program. It is set to become legal under medical marijuana laws which say it can be used to treat 10 serious illnesses and conditions, including cancer, HIV and AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, epilepsy, some spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis. Even though the law is supposed to begin in January 2016 it remains unclear when patients will be able to obtain the drug.
State health officials insist the program is on track to open in January, but no official statements on exactly when it will be launch, the locations of doctors certified to prescribe medicinal pot have be done yet. State Senator Diane Savin said that one of her greatest fears was that there would not be enough physicians trained to service patients in need.
“We don’t have a single trained physician. They are the gatekeepers of all of this” Savin said.
Julie Netherland, deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, said the lack of trained physicians was a real problem and that they get calls from patients every day wanting to know how they can get a physician to help them.
Obtaining a certification from a state-approved physician is the first step the law requires. After this, patients need to register with the Health Department and obtain a registry identification card before being allowed to purchase the product from one of five licensed growers operating in New York. Just weeks before New York’s medical marijuana program is scheduled to launch the state published a means for potentially hundreds of thousands of sick people to register their intent to purchase the product.
The procedure first requests patients to obtain the certification from a physician that has registered with the state and completed its 4-hour online training course. Then, patients will need to apply online through the Health Department for permission to participate. A $50 application fee may be billed to patients unless they are able to prove financial hardship.
“I have significant concerns about the implementation of the program and how successful it will be, especially from a patient access standpoint” said Julie Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance.
Up to now five companies have been licensed to provide medical cannabis by the New York State Department of Health. Four cannabis dispensaries located in Queens, Albany, Binghamton and White Plains will open during the first week on January. The other license went to Vireo Health of New York, the first company who provided Medican Marihuana to be cerfified by the The Orthodox Union (OU), world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency which decides if products conform to ancient religious codes.
Bloomfield Industries, one of the 5 companies, is operating a marijuana growing facility in Queens in addition to its dispensary planned for Murray Hill.
Source: New York Daily News
Photo: Earth Med.