BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Later this month, a set of changes will take effect designed to improve the medical marijuana program in New York State.

The Department of Health announced new types of marijuana products will be possible to sell, including ointments, lotions, patches, tablets, lozenges and non-smokable forms of ground plant material.

This new set of regulatory changes will also shorten the length of the course for registered practitioners from 4 hours down to 2 hours. One complaint has been too few doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants have signed up for the program, making it difficult for some patients to get certified.

Finally, the state is changing some regulations regarding manufacturing requirements, advertising, security and lab testing standards.

Advocates told 2 On Your Side they are encouraged by these changes; however, much more needs to be done in order to make the program viable long-term. The biggest issue remains cost, and until more patients are regularly buying the medicine, it's likely the cannabis will remain unaffordable.

The new regulations will take effect December 27.