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Nearly a month after New York's medical marijuana program began, 551 patients have been certified to obtain the drug and more than 330 physicians have signed up

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ALBANY, New York — Some 551 New Yorkers have been certified to obtain medical marijuana, nearly one month after the state's program began.

More than 330 physicians, meanwhile, have registered with the state, a requirement for doctors who want to be able to authorize the drug for patients.

The figures come from the state's Department of Health in response to questions posed Friday by The Associated Press.

To receive marijuana, patients with certain qualifying conditions must get a certification from a physician registered with the state's program. The patient must then apply for a state registry card.

The medication is available only in non-smokable form and can be obtained from a state-regulated dispensary.

More than 20 states now have medical marijuana programs.

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