Costly medical marijuana pushes patients to street sales

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — While the state’s highly-regulated medical marijuana program is expanding, now with delivery options, more dispensary locations coming, more practitioners to certify patients, and more ailments approved for treatment, patients are still saddled with a high-priced product, payable only with cash, leading some to get the illegal version of the drug the old-fashioned way.

The Compassionate Care Act passed the state Legislature in 2014 to provide relief for people suffering from debilitating ailments like cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and more, including the recently-added chronic or severe pain.

That last one is a game-changer for many more at