The Vireo Health medical marijuana dispensary in Johnson City. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

Broome County's only medical marijuana dispensary soon will be open twice as many hours each week.

Vireo Health has operated the office on Harry L  Drive in Johnson City since January 28. Since its opening, the dispensary has only been open one day a week.

Starting in four weeks, the site will operate on Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m. The office currently is open only on Wednesdays.

Dr. Stephen Dahmer, Vireo chief medical officer, earlier this month had indicated he was optimistic that the operating hours for the Johnson City dispensary would be expanded.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program, Dahmer said the local office typically had been serving 10 to 20 patients per day.

Because medical marijuana treatment is not covered by insurance, patients have to foot the entire bill and they must pay in cash.

The cost of the treatment varies. Dahmer said the average cost for Vireo patients has been about $250 a month.

Dahmer said he feels "very confident" that delivery of the drug will become an option "in the not-so-distant future." But he noted many logistical details remain to be worked out before that can happen.

New York state health officials are preparing to expand the list of conditions treatable with medical cannabis to include chronic pain.

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