Hudson Valley medical marijuana dispensary reopens, recreational users still in awkward spot

Medical marijuana cardholders can now enjoy a newly revamped dispensary in the Hudson Valley. Etain Health was one of the first medical marijuana operations in the state, and now features a redesigned exterior and interior. Customers will be greeted by colorful new branding and a retail shop featuring a wide array of marijuana-related products.

Etain Health was one of five original license recipients when medical marijuana was first legalized in New York six years ago. The reimagined Kingston location contains a storefront dedicated to non-THC health and wellness items, alongside pot-themed merchandise like “Buy Weed From Women” tote bags (Etain Health is New York’s only women-owned and operated medical marijuana company.)

Marijuana is used in a growing number of therapeutic applications, with the list of accepted conditions continuing to expand. In the eyes of some health care professionals, however, medical marijuana has been needlessly expensive and difficult to obtain in New York. Access has improved somewhat over the years with the opening of more dispensaries. Treatment is still priced at a premium compared to other states, in large part due to the lack of competition.

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New York State has a handy FAQ on the rules and regulations surrounding access to medical marijuana in the state. Some information is out of date thanks to the legalization of weed for recreational use earlier this year. For example, medical marijuana users were previously barred from smoking the plant. Now everyone can partake in that activity, though some locations may still prohibit the act of smoking.

When Will Recreational Users In New York Get Dispensaries?

Other marijuana users continue to be in an awkward spot. As of last March, marijuana is legal for recreational use (with restrictions). But there’s nowhere in the state to buy it legally. It’s also illegal to carry marijuana across state lines because of federal laws. For New Yorkers wondering when a recreational pot shop will open in their area, the future is unfortunately hazy.

Consensus is we won’t see the first dispensaries until at least 2022, though many towns and cities across the state are currently debating whether or not to allow marijuana sales in their jurisdictions. In Saugerties, officials recently discussed allowing up to four dispensaries.

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