On Aug. 30, 2016, the New York State Department of Health announced that it is going to expand its medical marijuana program, following the release of a recent two-year report on the status of the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Under the Compassionate Care Act.
The expansion will improve patient access, authorize nurse practitioners to certify patients for the program, permit home delivery service, institute a fee waiver for patients with limited financial means and modify the state’s data management system.
The DOH is also considering the addition of chronic intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions; it is currently reviewing evidence on the use of medical marijuana by patients with this condition and expects to make a decision within 90 days.
“New York’s Medical Marijuana Program has rapidly progressed, certifying more than 7,000 patients across the state and registering more than 675 physicians in just the first seven months,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of Health for New York State.
“Since launching the program, the Department has worked closely with doctors, patients and registered organizations to gather information relevant to strengthening the program in anticipation of the required two-year report,” Zucker said. “We are constantly evaluating the program to make it more effective for patients and practitioners, and we believe that the implementation of these recommendations will do just that.”