In effect to regulations passed in July 2014, the governor of New York made it legal for eligible patients with qualifying conditions the use of medical cannabis. Also known as registered organizations, cannabis dispensaries are the vendors tasked with manufacturing and distributing medical cannabis in New York. Ten cannabis dispensaries are currently operational state-wide, but the state has yet to accept new applications. Five of those were added on August 1, 2017.
The Move to Legalize Recreational Cannabis
On August 2, 2018, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he had set up a working group to write a bill aimed at legalizing and regulating cannabis based on recommendations from the State Department of Health. This was a big step toward legalizing cannabis and if a new law is enacted, it would put the state in a position to have potentially one of the largest recreational cannabis markets in the U.S. The market is approximated to be worth roughly $3.1 billion, and about $1.1 billion of that will be from New York City.
The State of Medical Cannabis Market in New York
The addition of patients in the state’s medical cannabis program is in high gear, and the recent approval of MMJ as a substitute for opioids has the massive potential of substantially boosting the sales. The number of registered patients has nearly tripled. Since the last quarter of 2016, an estimated 37,000 patients have been enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program, a 183 percent increase. The numbers of practitioners registered to certify patients for medical cannabis use has increased exponentially to more than 1,190. In 2016, medical sales amounted to $35.7 million, with the sales expected to peak to $253.5 million in 2021. With the massive increase in MMJ patients, the market looks promising.
A newer regulation that took effect on December 8, 2017, allowed dispensaries to manufacture and distribute additional products including solid and semi-solid products such as lozenges, effervescent and chewable tablets; tropical such as lotions, ointments, and patches; and certain non-smokable forms of ground plant material. Also, several recommendations were implemented, including allowing physician assistants and nurse practitioners to do home deliveries and the addition of chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder as qualifying conditions.
American Cannabis Company Can Help
Venturing into the New York medical cannabis market is no easy feat. The limited supply of licenses and the tough competition make applications challenging. Entrepreneurs should brace themselves for a tough ride and work with leaders in cannabis consulting if they want to open a dispensary in New York successfully. American Cannabis Company can analyze your situation and goals and help lay out a plan for success. Contact us today to find out more.