NYS takes steps it says should make access to medical marijuana easier

Cannabis plants at Vireo Health's medical marijuana cultivation

The state health department is looking to expand its medical marijuana program.

Another change would be that patients could bring people other than only designated caregivers to dispensaries.

As of Tuesday there were 26,561 patients authorized to obtain medical marijuana in the state. And finally - doctors interested in prescribing medical marijuana would be able to take a shorter two hours course under these update guidelines.

Rosen said dispensaries can advertise via illuminated and colored signage outside their facility, which was previously not allowed.

The new regulations will be entered into the public record August 23, after which they will be subject to a 30-day public comment period before they can be adopted.

The New York State Department of Health is conducting its own investigation into the matter, but would not release information until the probe is complete.

Officials hope some rule changes will improve program experience for patients, practitioners, and manufacturers.

Vireo operates a medical marijuana production facility at Tryon Technology Park in Fulton County.

The proposed rules, meant to help the program expand, come as the state's five medical marijuana companies continue to struggle to make profits under the program, considered to be among the most restrictive in the country. It also doubles the number of dispensaries that will offer medical marijuana products in NY from 20 to 40.

The newest concoctions of cannabis would be added to the capsules and liquids or oils for vaporizing.

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