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

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.

One comment on “New York Takes Steps to Expand State’s Medical Cannabis Program
  1. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Thank you so much, Marijuana Business Daily, for your consistent coverage of emerging cannabis markets in my repressive home state of New York. Local media often ignore the whole subject for months on end. In this particular activity, New York is definitely not a “progressive” state. All of these pending “recommendations” were included in the original Compassionate Care Act passed—two long years ago!—by both the NYS Assembly and Senate, before they were arrogantly cut from the law’s language by Gov. Andrew Cuomo himself. Two and a half agonizingly long years of experience have shown that we who fought for the law can’t trust Cuomo’s administration, nor his chief Health Department enforcer Dr. Howard Zucker. If Cuomo truly wants to stop blocking progress for medical cannabis commerce, he should immediately oust Zucker and put a lady in charge of the Health Department. I’d recommend Margaret Decker, Christine Emerson or Kate Hintz all day, every day until Cuomo acts. For sure, there are tens of thousands of amazing women like them across this great state who are more than qualified to consider the needs of New York’s medical cannabis patients. Enough is enough, Cuomo. Get out of our way. Career politicians like you have zero right to interfere, in any way, with the production of cannabis plants—whose cut-and-dried female flowers were most likely smoked for medicinal effect in the pipes of President George Washington. Our first president had commanded future generations to grow cannabis crops “everywhere.” So why do you keep insisting on being such a large obstacle today, Mr. Cuomo? Only 10 growers and 40 dispensaries? Is that the best you can do Cuomo? Lord knows how even that will be sufficient in vast land mass populated by more than 20 million people. According to the NYS Dept. of Health, roughly 50,000 of those people suffer from cancer diagnoses alone every year. Remember that New York voters are perceptive (a steady 80 percent have endorsed medical cannabis for years now) and they hold the power to derail political futures, if given enough reasons. Your utter lack of compassion for individual New Yorkers who want to try cannabis as medicine, Mr. Cuomo, will be remembered as a really big one.

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