US: New York upgrades medical marijuana program

The New York State Department of Health announced that chronic pain will be added as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

"After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature, it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain," said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker. "Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program."

The Department will develop a proposed regulatory amendment, which will include language specifying the chronic pain conditions that would qualify for medical marijuana. The proposed regulatory amendment will be published for public comment shortly.

The other ten qualifying conditions are cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, and Huntington's disease.

In addition, a proposed rulemaking was published Wednesday that would enable physician assistants to register with the Department to certify patients for medical marijuana, as long as their supervising physician is also registered to certify patients. This proposed rulemaking will be subject to a 45-day public comment period and would not take effect until it is filed for adoption after the public comment period.

For more information:
www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana

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