ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York is expanding medical marijuana eligibility and has set up a new cannabis certification and registration system. The program will now allow a patient to get certified for medical marijuana by a practitioner for any condition they see fit.
Not only will more patients be allowed to be prescribed marijuana, but more practitioners including dentists, podiatrists, and midwives will be able to prescribe it. “I think it’s great that they have taken the control of this substance away from the government and give it to the practitioners who are trained to know how to dispense any drug and to treat anything,” said local doctor James Saperstone.
Medical cannabis dispensary Vireo Health stated, “Yesterday’s decision to allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients for any condition they see fit is a common-sense advancement that will help the program reach countless new patients.”
In the past, medical marijuana has primarily been prescribed to help those with conditions such as epilepsy and cancer. Dr. Saperstone said it can also be used to treat anxiety. “Anxiety is directly related to health—the mind and the body. So I think it’s good. I suspect there are other conditions, that it could be used for,” explained Dr. Saperstone. “There are certain chronic conditions. I know before it was very draconian. It was very limited to severe diseases, but now, they kind of opened it out.”
New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) also announced that it is waving patient registration fees, allowing the sale of whole flower cannabis products, and increasing the amount of medical marijuana supply from 30 days to 60 days. The office also said it will be streamlining the approval for hospitals, residential facilities, and schools to hold and dispense products for patients.
According to state officials, patients certified through this new program will be issued certifications from OCM. Those already granted through the State Department of Health remain valid until the expiration date.