New York medical marijuana companies file a lawsuit against the Department of Health on April 27, 2017. REUTERS/Nir Elias Subscribe to Newsweek from $1 per week Since New York launched its medical marijuana program in 2016, only about 17,600 people have been registered as medical marijuana patients compared to the more than 200,000 people who have illnesses making them eligiblefor the program.Out of the roughly 90,000 doctors in the state that could be registered to certify patients for medical marijuana, only about 1,000 of them actually were. A 2016 Drug Policy report found the biggest reason patients werent enrolled in New Yorks medical marijuana program was because they hadnt found a doctor to prescribe the medicine. The reportnoted some of the patients whohad received medical marijuana certification spent up to four months trying to locate a registered physician to prescribe them medical marijuana. During a hearing Tuesday, representatives from the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Associationsaid the five existing marijuana companies in New York were already operating at a Green Rush loss and only using a small fraction of their manufacturing capacities.Flooding the supply market when there is insufficient patient demand will undermine the viability of the entire program, which is not yet a profitable industry,” the lawsuit stated. Other states including Florida, Georgia andNew Jersey have also been accused of making it difficult for medical marijuana patients to get cannabis products. In California, which has long been touted as a leader in the legal marijuana movement, state officials could soon make it harder for patients looking to toke up. Governor Jerry Brown released Friday the states draft regulations for its longstanding medical marijuana program. Under the new rules, cities and counties will still be allowed to approve medical marijuana businesses before they are allowed to register for an operating license from the state. Dispensaries will not be allowed to set up shop within 600 feet of schools and all products must come in child-proof packaging, similar to medical and recreational rules in Colorado. Dispensaries willonly allowed be allowed to remain open between the hours of 7 a.m.