New York’s medical marijuana program has had a rather rough start and is struggling to become profitable. On November 8, neighboring Massachusetts will vote to legalize recreational marijuana, which could pose major issues for New York’s troubled program because many New Yorkers will likely purchase marijuana in Massachusetts and illegally transport it back to New York for medicinal use, rather than joining the state’s medical marijuana program.
New York does not allow smokable forms of marijuana because the state “frowns on smoking,” according to Times Union. The highly regulated program only has a handful of companies to produce marijuana products for the entire state, and doctors are scarce because they must go through special medical marijuana training courses to get registered with the state.
New York is considering adding more marijuana producers, but no one is certain if that would lower the cost of medical marijuana and if it’d make it easier for patients to find medical marijuana.
New York officials believe that if Massachusetts legalizes recreational marijuana that New Yorkers will cross state lines to obtain cheaper marijuana, even though transporting marijuana across state lines is illegal and violates both state and federal.