New York Takes Steps to Expand State’s Medical Cannabis Program

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New York’s health department said Tuesday it will expand the state’s medical marijuana program by creating a home delivery system and allowing nurse practitioners to certify patients for MMJ.

The department also is expected ultimately to increase the number of licensed MMJ businesses in a bid to pump new life into New York’s medical cannabis industry, which has been slow to ramp up.

In addition, Newsday reported that the health department said it will review the inclusion of chronic pain as a qualifying condition.

Such a move could open up the state’s MMJ program to many more patients. In other states that allow patients to obtain marijuana for pain, such as Colorado and Michigan, typically anywhere from 1%-2% of the population signs up for medical cannabis.

Earlier this month, New York’s health department recommended several business-friendly changes to the state’s medical cannabis program, including a doubling in the number of licensed MMJ businesses to 10 from five.

According to Newsday, the department has sketched out added details for 10 of the 12 recommendations contained in the report.

The New York Times reported the state plans to implement all 12 recommendations, although officials are still reviewing the recommendation to double the number of MMJ businesses.