Changes to NY's medical marijuana program being considered

Nassau County will get two new medical marijuana dispensaries within the coming year

The DOH said 26,500 patients in NY are certified to use medical marijuana, and 1,155 practitioners have been certified to participate in the program.

The state of NY is about to make it easier for patients to get medical marijuana products.

Under a series of proposals, approved patients would have access to lotions, ointments, patches and chewable tablets.

The addition of five companies to the state's medical marijuana program brings the total number of companies operating in NY to 10. The Health Department says all products will be subject to rigorous testing.

Potential patients, meanwhile, will now be able to enter dispensaries to speak to representatives about the products once the new rules take effect.

Other proposed changes include allowing more advertising by medical marijuana producers and streamlining manufacturing requirements, as well as modifications to security and laboratory requirements.

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Along with the product changes, the new regulations also make changes for doctors and dispensaries.

The DOH said they're also shortening the course for practitioners that is required to certify patients for medical marijuana.

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.

As of August 8, 2017, there were 26,561 certified patients and 1,155 registered practitioners participating in the program.

Last week, the state approved five new companies to manufacture and distribute the drug, adding to the five that began operating a year ago.