The marijuana industry in New York will be similar to Colorado’s, where nine years after it was legalized there are nearly 1,000 retail stores and small medical marijuana dispensaries spread across that state.

For many people who suffer from conditions such as insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain, the legislation will also pave the way for easier access — and lower prices — to marijuana therapies that may help them treat their symptoms and avoid the need for synthetic drugs that often come with debilitating side effects or potentially dangerous interactions with other substances.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act passed by the Legislature — and signed into law last week by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — is largely mirrored after Colorado’ssystem that has enabled small business owners to establish a network of boutique shops and dispensaries that sell everything from small amounts of cannabis to pain creams and edibles.

 
 

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