It’s not an April Fools Joke. On March 31st, New York officially released its regulations for Medical Marijuana. They can be found here: PDF.
These are brand-new regulations, so their impact is still unclear, but here are some notable points.
§1004.6 Consideration of registered organization applications.(a) Applicants for approval to operate as registered organizations shall submit an application to the department, containing the information required in §1004.5, in a manner and formatdetermined by the department.(1) Applications shall be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee in the amount of $10,000.(2) The registration fee for the registration period shall be $200,000. Applicants shall submit the registration fee by certified check at the time of submission of the application. The registration fee shall be returned to the applicant if the applicant is not granted a registration under this part
It also states that dispensaries may only provide a 30-day supply to patients, and the regulations specifically delineate who may become a patient. The specific medical conditions include:
(i) cancer; (ii) positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, provided that the practitioner has obtained from the patient consent for disclosure of this information that meets the requirements set forth in sections twenty-seven hundred eighty and twenty-seven hundred eighty-two of the public health law; (iii) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; (iv) Parkinson’s disease; (v) multiple sclerosis; (vi) damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity; (vii) epilepsy; (viii) inflammatory bowel disease; (ix) neuropathies; (x) Huntington’s disease; or (xi) any other condition added by the commissioner.
How the regulations are enforced, and when clinics can be established have yet to be seen. However, it is clear that NY is taking steps towards legal medical marijuana. Soon for-profit and not-for-profit institutions can start producing and distributing medical marijuana to those patients who need it.