WNY medical marijuana dispensaries open Thursday

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 12:34:59-05

Two western New York medical marijuana dispensaries are opening Thursday. PharmaCann in Amherst and Bloomfield Industries in Williamsville have state approval to dispense the drug. 

Colette Bellefleur the Chief Operating Officer for Bloomfield Industries said, "As of today, patient suffering from painful and debilitating conditions no longer have to wait for the treatment they so desperately need."

According to the New York State Department of Health patients who suffer from HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating conditions are eligible to use the drug. 

Under the state's guidelines Dr. Laszlo Mechtler the Medical Director at the Dent Neurologic Institute says 30,000 to 40,000 people would qualify. 

Mechtler said patients won't be able to get the drug on Thursday because they have to be seeing a certified doctor and once a prescription is written it has to be sent to the state. 

Mechtler said once the state approves the prescription then the patient can get medical marijuana from a dispensary. He said the issue isn't a lack of doctors. 

Although there's a lot of research to be done regarding the use of medical marijuana Mechtler said it's work the risk. 

"I will be seeing five brain cancer patients today, just this morning," said Mechtler. "After seeing brain cancer for 25 years I think it's only natural to try to relieve their suffering."

There are 150 certified physicians statewide and eight of them work at Dent.

Even with eight dispensaries opening on Thursday the state hasn't publicly released a list of certified doctors. 




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