By Kathy Kahn
Medical marijuana is legal in New York State, but before you rush to the nearest dispensary, be sure you have seen a physician who is licensed to write you a prescription for it.
Remedy, the new outlet on Route 304 in Bardonia, carries a selection of capsules, oils and vape cartridges of different strengths to those who are registered medical marijuana users. The parent company, Valley Agricueticals, says its growing facility is located in Wallkill in Orange County, which is also the home of another marijuana growing facility, PharmaCann.
While marijuana—particularly cannabidiol—has been recognized as having positive effects on those suffering with Parkinson’s and other nerve disorders, it is also recognized for helping those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is being suggested for opioid addicts to help them replace their desire for the deadly drug.
One of the patients who came to the clinic declined to be named but said she was glad a dispensary opened in Rockland, saving her the trip to Westchester, the Bronx or to Newburgh. “Yes, it is expensive, but it’s the only option I have that helps,” she said.
Medical marijuana may be legal, but to the Food & Drug Administration, it is considered a Schedule 1 drug on par with heroin. While states have been legalizing medical/recreational marijuana use, don’t expect it to come without a caveat: Absolutely no insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, will pay for the product.
There is a proposal in Albany to make recreational marijuana legal, as neighboring states already allow it. In Vermont, a person can own two plants of his own without any legal interference. While Gov. Andrew Cuomo was initially against legalizing the drug, it appears Albany’s “blue wave”—the November elections that saw both the Assembly and Senate overtaken by Democrats—it may come to fruition by the end of this year.
Nevertheless, you’ll still pay out of pocket. One visitor with a medical marijuana card confided, “I’d rather buy the same product from my regular ‘supplier’ than pay these prices.” But for those who can afford it, it’s a given they will opt for something that relieves pain and anxiety at whatever cost the traffic will bear.
New York has projected a net profit of $300 million in additional tax revenue from medical marijuana, so it’s a no-brainer there will be more outlets available as the state moves closer to legalizing weed.