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Another NY medical marijuana patient describes ongoing problems with price, service and access

This story is part of an ongoing series raising the voice of NY’s medical marijuana patients. Read NY Cannabis Insider The investigation that started this series.

Shortly after New York legalized recreational marijuana last year, patients and advocates began raising concerns about the state’s handling of medical marijuana, accusing regulators of letting NY’s medical program rot as regulators focused on the adult-use market.

Many of these stories are being told on the New YorkMMJ subreddit, where patients describe problems with price, access and the quality of information they are receiving from medical pharmacies.

Christopher, a 25-year-old medical marijuana patient from Long Island, spoke with NY Cannabis Insider as part of an ongoing series on patient complaints and the bigger issues facing the state’s medical marijuana program.

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Although he uses marijuana to treat PTSD, Christopher said he has trouble getting accurate and helpful information from budtenders at medical dispensaries. When asked for recommendations on what products they can use to best treat their condition, for example, they usually say they meet a little more than the shoulder.

“It’s like going to CVS, but the people at the pharmacy are like the people at the checkout,” he said.

It may be something he admits, but Christopher said he has encountered more knowledgeable staff at medical dispensaries in other states.

“In New York, ‘I’m here to sell stuff,'” he said. “You’re working with medical patients who are dependent on these drugs — there has to be a level of professionalism.”

She said she has faced privacy issues at her main pharmacy, where her PTSD is clearly labeled on the outside of the package when she buys products.

“They put the problem on your package, displayed for everyone,” he said.

But he can’t easily choose another dispensary — even though Long Island and New York City certainly have better access to medical marijuana dispensaries than upstate counties, he said, finding an affordable one is difficult.

And he and other New York medical marijuana patients who spoke with NY Cannabis Insider found the price difficult to justify. Christopher said he has visited other states where produce is significantly cheaper.

“When I moved to Maine, I was able to get a full gram cartridge for $15,” he said. He said the same product was $100 more at his regular pharmacy in New York.

He said he agrees that a state with a high cost of living like New York is going to have more expensive medical marijuana than states with a lower cost of living. Still, the difference seems stark, he said.

“Is it a $100 difference? I don’t think so. “

Like other patients, he had complaints about bureaucratic delays and problems at the cannabis management office, especially regarding the fact that regulations for home cultivation had not yet been implemented.

“It’s crazy that you still can’t grow on your own. This is something that has stuck with me in the last six months,” he said. “What’s OCM going to do, they’re going to break into my garage and take it away?”

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