New York's medical marijuana program has been in the works for some time now and is expected to be up and running by January 2016. The state just finished licensing it's 25 dispensaries, but it seems that although Queens and Manhattan will have two, Brooklyn and Staten Island residents will be forced to travel for their medication. Though the bill has brought progress to the state, some advocates still call it too restricive as qualifying conditions are still limited, smoking the plant matter is prohibited, and no growers or dispensaries can be located within 1000ft of a church or school. Despite it's flaws, the bill leaves room for those in need to have cannabis delivered to them by a licensed caregiver.
Advocates of the marijuana program have called the bill, which only allows for five manufacturers and 20 dispensaries and prohibits smoking, “too restrictive.” The requirements also include a prohibition against dispensing the drug within 1,000 feet of a school or church, a difficult criteria to meet in most parts of Brooklyn. In addition, the marijuana can only be approved for relief from 10 specific illnesses, including cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy.