Access, variety, and price key complaints in NY’s medical cannabis subreddit

This story is part of an ongoing series that will elevate the voices of NY’s medical marijuana patients. Get the NYCI newsletter here or become a subscriber for exclusive content.

Chris, a 27-year-old from New York City who has been a medical cannabis patient for about a year and a half, said he’s been fortunate not to experience much hardship in accessing his medicine.

That doesn’t mean he hasn’t seen plenty of it.

Chris is a moderator for the NewYorkMMJ subreddit — an online forum for people to share news, experiences and thoughts about the state’s medical marijuana program. He has read nearly every post from medical cannabis patients across New York State complaining about their access, or lack thereof, to cannabis they were prescribed.

Patients and advocates have alleged that New York State is letting its medical cannabis program wither while the agency tasked with regulating the cannabis industry – the Office of Cannabis Management – directs its attention to setting up a recreational market. NY Cannabis Insider has previously reported on both patient complaints and the larger issues facing medical cannabis in the state.

Chris, who asked NY Cannabis Insider not to use his last name, said the “number one issue that we see is pricing” – meaning cannabis products in New York are significantly higher than other states.

“You’ll pay $85 for a vape when it costs $25 in Maine,” he said. “I also think it takes advantage of people who depend on (medical cannabis).”

Aside from cost, Chris said product selection is also limited, and he has seen dispensaries offer as few as eight to 12 strains of flower.

“When you don’t have more than 12 strains at any one given time, then it’s harder for one patient to find out what works,” he said.

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