High Prices are Driving New York’s Medical Marijuana Patients Back to the Black Market – News

New York State passed medical marijuana legislation in 2014, with patients able to purchase their medicine at licensed dispensaries since 2016. This year, the program expanded further, with broadly defined ailments like chronic pain added to the state’s list of qualifying conditions. But even with the expanded qualifiers opening the system to millions of New Yorkers, high priced product and a lack of smokeable marijuana for sale has resulted in state-approved patients seeking their weed from black market dealers instead of dispensaries.

According to Staten Island Live, patients in the Empire State can purchase CBD-rich oils, capsules and vaporizers from five licensed producers and eight approved dispensaries. Without additional competition, prices are double and triple what they might be in a recreational-legal state.

“There are vape pens you can get for $30 or $40 in a state like Colorado that you can get for $100 here for an inferior product.” Empire State NORML representative Doug Greene said. “Most people seem to think they’re better off staying in the unlicensed market and getting a cheaper product that way than getting it in the program, and that’s…

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