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Slow Start For NY's Strict Medical Marijuana Program

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

A small but growing number of patients have been receiving medical marijuana since New York recently launched one of the strictest programs in the country.

The state Health Department says over 165 patients have now qualified. The figure has more than doubled in a week. More than 225 doctors have now taken state-required training to recommend the drug, up from about 150 last week.

As of Saturday, operators say all dispensaries that opened around the state January 7th have seen patients.

Still, some would-be patients say they're unable to get access to any doctors prepared to recommend the drug.

Twenty-three states allow medical pot. New York is one of few that require doctor training.

© 2016 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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