NEW YORK - (AP) - New York's measured foray into medical marijuana began Thursday with a liquid packaged with a plain white label.

Pharmacists at New York City's first medical marijuana dispensary will consult with patients whose doctors must take special training to recommend the drug. The drug is allowed only in forms that can't be smoked.   

Eight dispensaries opened Thursday around the state, which has some of the strictest rules among the more than 20 states that allow medical pot.   

Patients and their advocates fear New York is putting up too many roadblocks. But some dispensary operators say the state's stringency will help convey professionalism as the industry matures.   

New York passed its medical marijuana law in 2014, allowing 18 months to implement it.