Albany, NY – The New York state Department of Health says the state’s new medical cannabis program will begin on Thursday.
A department spokesman announced the date Monday in response to questions from The Associated Press.
Under the new law, patients with qualifying conditions can get permission from their physician to obtain non-smokable forms of marijuana.
The patients must apply for a registry identification card, and will receive their medication at a state-regulated dispensary.
State lawmakers passed the law in 2014 but it took state health officials 18 months to finalize the rules and select the five companies that will produce and dispense the drugs.
Twenty-three states now have comprehensive medical marijuana programs. New York’s is considered one of the most tightly regulated.