New York State Health Department Issues Improved Medical Marijuana Regulations

On Aug. 10, 2017, the New York State Department of Health revealed new regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program. The improved regulations were made in an effort to expand the program, aiming to create a better experience for all parties involved.

According to the New York State Department of Health, the regulations will involve adding new and shorter training courses for prospective physicians, and making further medical marijuana products available for sale.

“This is yet another positive step forward for New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, New York State Department of Health Commissioner. “These regulations will continue to improve the program in several ways, including making new forms of medical marijuana available and improving the dispensing facility experience.”

The new regulations will allow registered organizations to manufacture and supply marijuana products in the form of lotions, ointments, chewable tablets, lozenges and patches. The regulations require that all new products go through thorough testing, as well as permitting the DOH to reject unsuitable products or those that are potentially harmful.

Prospective patients and physicians will be allowed to speak with registered organization representatives at dispensing facilities so they can inquire about products and learn more about the state’s program.

The DOH listened to the feedback of practitioners and as a result it is developing shorter courses that will satisfy the requirements for those who want to certify patients to receive medical marijuana. With the help of course providers, the department will create a two-hour course that’s comparable to currently available courses.

The New York State Department of Health has made several developments regarding the medical marijuana program, keeping the patients’ needs in mind. Last week, the DOH approved five additional registered organizations to produce and distribute medical marijuana throughout the state.

“We are grateful to the Department of Health for listening to what patients need and working to expand the program and increase access to medical marijuana. Different patients benefit from different types of products, and we are glad that the new rules will allow a wider variety of choices. This is a great step toward reducing costs and improving patients’ options,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel at the Marijuana Policy Project, in a press release.

The proposed regulations will be issued in the New York State Register on Aug. 23 and then undergo a 30-day period for public comments before they can be adopted.

Amanda Taylor is the editorial assistant for Marijuana Industry News. She earned a BA in English and an MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University.

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