A medical marijuana dispensary in New York City has been inundated with patients seeking relief from the side effects of prescription painkillers, a health organization says.
The Joint Commission on Medical Cannabis, which monitors the nation’s medical marijuana dispensaries, said the company, Organigram, is the only one to have received such a citation since its establishment in December 2016.
The medical marijuana industry, however, has been facing increased scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators in recent years, and lawmakers in California, where the state’s medical cannabis law is set to take effect this month, are considering a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana.
The state of New York, which has legalized medical marijuana for those with certain conditions, has received more than 20 citations in the past year, including one in September.
The agency says it is investigating the situation and expects to receive more.
Joint Commission spokesman David Biderman said Organigam’s medical dispensary, the Medical Cannabis Dispensary of New Yorkers, was not cited.
The company has received “no complaints from patients regarding the health hazards associated with the use of [opioid] medications,” he said.
Organigram is owned by the medical marijuana company Hempstead Farms, which also operates dispensaries in Washington, D.C., and Colorado.
The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Medical marijuana advocates have said they expect the New York law to allow dispensaries to sell pot for recreational use, which would be a big step toward legalization.
The California ballot measure, which the Joint Commission said would legalize medical use of marijuana by patients with specific conditions, is set for voters to decide in November.