New Yorkers will soon have an easier time getting their hands on legal marijuana, thanks to several new policies announced this week.
Under the new regulations, patients too ill to travel can have their cannabis delivered, and nurse practitioners may now certify patients for access to the drug. The state may also double the number of companies allowed to operate dispensaries, from five to 10.
Earlier this year, we toured one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries to open doors in New York. It’s run by Columbia Care, a a medical marijuana company with locations in California, Nevada, and Massachusetts, and designed by the retail display group RPG.
Located just east of Union Square, the new Manhattan office is sleekly modern — here’s a look.
Drake Baer contributed to a previous version of this story.
One thing you notice about the design of the space, from the reception on in, is that there are very few hard right angles. Everything has a nice flow.
Walking in, Columbia Care doesn't feel clinical. There are plants, wood, and soft lighting throughout.
He noted that there's a very specific use of angles. 'It's physically bringing you into the space,' he says.
The design style is mid-century modern mixed in with contemporary touches, like the blue couch. Since many of the patients coming in may have some sort of mobility-limiting disease, it's important to offer an array of seating.
The product at Columbia Care comes from growing facilities across the country, including the Chino Valley, Arizona, location below.
Medical marijuana sold in New York doesn't come in a smokable flower form; it's only capsules, tinctures, and the like. Columbia Care CEO Nick Vita tells Tech Insider that the cost is about $100 to $300 per month, averaging out to $0.95 per 1 milligram dose, with patients starting out at 3 doses a day, depending on the case.
'Insurance does not cover these products, but we offer financial subsidies to patients who need assistance to access the products,' he says. 'Our goal is to ensure 100% of qualifying patients can afford our products and will collaborate with the State to reach this goal.'
Under New York state law, only patients with severe 'debilitating or life threatening' diseases, including cancer, HIV, and Parkinson's, are eligible for treatment.
The state is currently considering broadening its list of conditions that qualify patients for the medical marijuana program to include mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic illnesses like Alzheimer's disease, the New York Times reports.
It's a step in the right direction for the state's evolving program.