New York's Expensive Medical Marijuana Prices are Forcing People to the Black Market

New York has one of the most limited medical marijuana programs in the country. Only a few conditions are even eligible for cannabis, and the prices at the state's legal dispensaries are often incredibly expensive. And now it turns out many people who could benefit from the state's medical marijuana program are turning back to the black market.

Merry Jane recently published a story about the problems with New York's medical marijuana industry. Many people pointed out that products in New York often cost way more than comparable items in other legal states, and the quality is often inferior as well.

"There are vape pens you can get for $30 or $40 in a state like Colorado that you can get for $100 here for an inferior product." Empire State NORML representative Doug Greene told Merry Jane. "Most people seem to think they're better off staying in the unlicensed market and getting a cheaper product that way than getting it in the program, and that's unfortunate."

The exorbitant prices as well as the inferior quality of products are leading many of the state's medical marijuana patients to ditch the legal route and continue purchasing illegal cannabis off the black market. 

"Most people that go to a dispensary go once or twice and never go back," Landon Dais, political director of the Marijuana Policy Project of New York, told Marry Jane. "It's just too expensive. They like that the products are screened and safe ... but it's about the bottom line for people's pockets."

The state is attempting to rectify some of these issues. They're hoping to double the number of legal marijuana growers in the coming months, which they hope will allow prices to decrease and lessen the burden on patients. But major changes may be necessary if New York wants to actually provide a service that will undeniably help its citizens.


Last December, America officially legalized hemp with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The new law is a game-changer for the agricultural industry in America as farmers can now start growing and selling the non-intoxicating cannabis crop across the country. But it will be a while before the United States can top the world's biggest hemp producer.

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