New York State Department of Health Announces Enhancements to Medical Marijuana Program

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NYSDOH regulations Announces Chronic Pain to Be Added As Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Enhancements, New Registered Organizations

Streamlined Registration Process for Practitioners Fulfills Recommendation From Two-Year Report On Program
Certified Patients Increase By More Than 7,500 Since Addition of Chronic Pain

ALBANY, N.Y., June 22, 2017 /Weed Wire/ – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) today announced several new enhancements to the state’s Medical Marijuana Program as the number of certified patients continues to rise since the addition of chronic pain as a qualifying condition. The enhancements will streamline and simplify the registration process for practitioners, making it easier to certify patients for the medical marijuana program. The Department has also approved the addition of a second course on the medical use of marijuana, a prerequisite for practitioners seeking to participate in the program.

“Practitioners are key to the success of New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, and making registration easier and increasing their options for learning about medical marijuana will enable them to better evaluate whether it is an appropriate treatment option for some of their patients,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “This is another important step in the program’s growth, as we continue to see a major increase in patients since the addition of chronic pain as a qualifying condition.”

STREAMLINED REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR PRACTITIONERS
The Department has made significant changes to streamline the process that practitioners utilize to register for the medical marijuana program. Effective immediately, practitioners can register online with the Department and certify patients the same day. Before this process was automated, it could take several days for practitioner registrations to be completed.

Streamlining and enhancing the practitioner registration process to make it easier for practitioners to register with the program was one of the recommendations of the Department’s two-year report on the Medical Use of Marijuana Under the Compassionate Care Act.

All practitioners who newly register with the Department will be listed publicly online, unless they opt-out during the registration process, in order to help patients find participating practitioners. A list of practitioners registered with New York’s Medical Marijuana Program who have consented to be publicly listed is available on the Department’s website at: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/practitioner/public_list.htm.

As of June 22, 2017, there are 1,066 registered practitioners in New York’s Medical Marijuana Program. Since November, the Department has enhanced the medical marijuana program by empowering nurse practitioners and physician assistants to join physicians in their capability to certify patients for medical marijuana. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants now make up more than ten percent of the registered practitioners in the program.

CONTINUED INCREASE IN PATIENTS
The new streamlined registration process will allow practitioners to certify the growing patient base more quickly. In late March, the Department added chronic pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. Since the addition of chronic pain, an additional 7,504 patients have become certified for the program, representing a 50% increase.

As of June 22, 2017, 22,496 patients in total are certified for the program.

SECOND COURSE FOR PRACTITIONERS
The Department has approved a second course for practitioners on the medical use of marijuana. The four-hour course will be offered by The Medical Cannabis Institute (TMCI Global). The first course was approved in October 2015 and is provided by The Answer Page.

Both courses are available online so that practitioners can take them at their convenience, and both provide continuing medical education (CME) credits. Practitioners are only required to complete one of these courses in order to register with the Department to certify patients for the medical marijuana program.

For more information on New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

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