State tweaks medical pot law but still no talk of legalization
ALBANY | New York is loosening restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law but, to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join eight other states in embracing full legalization.
Among the latest to do so are two in the Northeast — Massachusetts and Maine — and the huge state of California. Still, Gov. Andrew Cuomo remains a skeptic of outright recreational use, and legalization faces challenges in the Legislature too.
New York’s medical marijuana law still has some of the strictest rules among the more than 20 states that allow medical pot.
Among its requirements: that pot products can’t be dispensed in smokeable form and that physicians complete a training course to approve the drug for patients.
So far 750 physicians have signed up to participate, and 10,730 patients have been certified, a number that dispensary operators have complained has made it hard to turn a profit.