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New York Expands MMJ Program

Posted by Micah Tapman on Sep 7, 2016 8:50:32 AM
Micah Tapman
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New York is expanding it's medical marijuana program with a couple of important changes. First, they are allowing nurse practioners to recommend cannabis. Second, they are allowing home delivery.

Both changes surprised me. It's long been an assumption of mine that delivery would fade away to reflect an alcohol-like regulatory structure. And more basically, expanding the NY system so quickly is a positive move.

As with all changes there is some pushback. I think the current business owners are struggling to make ends meet given only a few thousand patients currently authorized to purchase and there is the potential to add a few more dispensaries, which would increase competition. It's an interesting problem and while I'm a fan of free markets in general there needs to be a recognition that a regulated market like medical marijuana needs to be governed with some respect for the establishment.

One distinct negative that I noticed in the article is that only five companies own all 17 dispensaries across the state. That's a real shame as it limits the number of business owners and increases the likelihood of collusion among just a few large players. New York should open up the program to allow more entrepreneurship like Colorado.

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