New York medical marijuana firm wins nursing home contract

Etain Health of New York landed a contract with a Bronx nursing home to provide its residents with medical cannabis products, a move that could help improve the MMJ company’s patient numbers.

It’s believed to be the first such deal in the state, the New York Daily News reported. Industry analysts believe such arrangements will grow over time across the nation. In fact, a small number of American and Canadian companies have approached senior facilities, though it’s unclear if any have procured contracts like Etain’s.

According to the deal, Etain will help medical staff at the unidentified nursing home become certified to recommend medical marijuana to patients, the Daily News reported.

Such a move could prove critical for New York’s 1-year-old medical marijuana program, which has been hurt by, among other things, a dearth of health professionals certified to recommend MMJ. As of Feb. 7, 849 health practitioners were certified to recommend medical marijuana, while 13,389 patients were registered with the state.

New York’s original medical marijuana law allowed only physicians to recommend medical cannabis. But state health regulators recently allowed nurse practitioners to recommend medical marijuana, and steps are being taken to allow physician assistants to do so.

Once nursing home staff are certified and start registering patients, the Daily News reported, Etain would operate under a new home-delivery law to transport cannabis products to patients. They would administer the medicine themselves or have a family member do it for them.