The New York State Health Department announced last week that five more companies have been allowed the necessary licenses to open dispensaries in NYC. Valley Agriceuticals and Citiva are authorized to bring dispensaries to Brooklyn, Pallia and NYCanna are expected to open somewhere in Queens and Fiorello Pharmaceutics will most likely be opening a storefront in Manhattan. These companies are no stranger to the New York market, manufacturing marijuana elsewhere in the state including Onandaga, Orange and Ulster counties.
The dispensaries are expected to open after completing site inspections by the Health Department, which could happen as soon as early 2018. But, don't get too excited yet. Medical marijuana is still heavily restricted in the state in terms of what is considered a qualifying condition that is eligible for treatment. Chronic pain was qualified as of March, which increased the number of certified patients in the state by 72 percent, but many conditions approved by other states are still restricted here. But, the expansion of licenses to these organizations will make it so that there will be more access, more competition and more options for current patients.
“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,” said state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in a statement.
So for now, unless you are a chronic pain sufferer, you might be better off "getting high" by checking out a rooftop bar.