MIDDLETOWN, NY — In Orange County, there are 32 practitioners licensed to prescribe patients medical marijuana, and 3,060 patients certified to receive it. In Sullivan County, there are eight …
MIDDLETOWN, NY — In Orange County, there are 32 practitioners licensed to prescribe patients medical marijuana, and 3,060 patients certified to receive it. In Sullivan County, there are eight practitioners and 837 certified patients. Now, those patients can shop for medical marijuana products at The Botanist at 247 Dunning Rd. in Middletown.
In a press release, The Botanist is billed as a “new retail brand from Acreage Holdings and the largest U.S. cannabis operator with an expanding nationwide footprint of medical and adult-use dispensaries.”
Sonya Parrish, director of NYS Plant Operations, said the process for getting medical marijuana involves finding a registered practitioner on medical NYS Department of Health (DOH) website and consulting with the practitioner about whether medical marijuana would be beneficial. If so, the patient would receive a medical marijuana card from DOH, and the patient would present the card at the door of The Botanist.
Parrish said the patient could then either have a consultation with the pharmacist on staff at the facility, or the patient may decide to peruse the products by him or herself and select a product. She said the facility currently offers a tincture which is administered under the tongue. They also have products meant to be vaporized and powders that can be mixed with juice or tea. “There are also capsules and more forms are coming in the near future,” she said.
The Botanist also has a facility in Buffalo. Additional New York locations are expected to open in Queens and Long Island in the next few months.
There are many health conditions that qualify for treatment with medical marijuana in New York State, but among the most patients seeking treatment with medical marijuana are those with chronic pain, traumatic stress disorder, neuropathy and epilepsy. Parrish added that any condition that would qualify a patient to be prescribed an opioid could instead be subscribed medical marijuana. “We’ve actually seen people go from opioid use to the use of medical marijuana with improved results and without the negative side effects of opioid use,” she said. “We’ve heard so many success stories in New York State. It’s really heart-warming and good to be a part of it.”
Lawmakers in New York State are currently considering measures to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, following the leads of a growing number of other states. Parrish said that if recreational legalized marijuana legislation were signed into law the Middletown location could also sell recreational marijuana.
“It’s too early to know. We really would have to work with the local legislators and legislators across the state to see how our program would fit into any new program,” she said.
The Botanist is offering a 10% discount to all veterans as well as Medicare and Medicare patients through the end of February.
Marijuana is now fully legal in 11 states, while medical marijuana is legal in another 21 states. Marijuana has been decriminalized in four other states and remains fully illegal in only 15 states. Among foreign countries, Canada legalized recreational marijuana in October 2018, and Uruguay did the same in 2013.
Acreage Holdings is one of more than a dozen budding marijuana-related businesses hoping to see a surge of growth this year. That may depend the federal government because, under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. But if the federal government passes legislation allowing the marijuana industry to make full use of the federal banking system and take advantage of tax breaks, as some analysts predict, the race to become the first national brand-name marijuana producer and capture a large slice of the market will likely become even hotter than it already is.
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