New Yorkers such as Sean Kirwen use medical cannabis and appreciate the medical counsel they receive at dispensaries.

“I first came in because I was dealing with chronic pain and insomnia. On my first day, I walked, I came and sat down with one of the PCRs, or budtenders,” said Kirwen.

After discussing his health concerns, the budtender provided Kirwen with recommendations on dosage and types of cannabis suited for him.

“And then what they did was they brought in one of the pharmacists, which I thought was really incredible to have a real medical professional there as well,” shared Kirwen.

Across New York state, nearly 125,000 adults are registered as medical cannabis patients. With the state legalizing recreational cannabis for adults, providers of medical cannabis are looking for some long-sought reforms to make medical cannabis more affordable and accessible.

“Patients are struggling because prices are high. Right now, the organizations will pay on behalf of the patient a seven percent tax. With adult-use coming, all that revenue that’s coming on the tax side should offset what the state is requiring the payment on behalf of the medical patient,” said Kevin Harbison, a doctor of pharmacy.

Last year, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act removed certain qualifying conditions, which increased eligibility for all who may need it medicinally. But with recreational dispensaries preparing to open soon, many are trying to decide if they should surpass the medical route completely.

“I think anyone who’s new to marijuana, having a consultation will help you have a better experience. They know what your experience level is, they know what you’re you’re going to be able to intake without feeling the negative effects of being may be too high or sleepy. They’re gonna put you on the perfect regiment to make sure that you do feel better,” said Kirwen.