In a new report released just over two years since the passage of New York’s medical cannabis law, the state department of health has suggested some major changes. In short, the changes will allow expansion of the program in which 600 physicians and 5,000 patients have participated to date.
Of the 12 recommendations, here are the most interesting:
Add chronic pain as a qualifying condition. This will likely contribute most to the program’s expansion, as it will allow a significantly larger patient base to participate. Chronic pain is a broad category, and is the most common condition for which patients across the country register for medical cannabis.
Double the number of medical cannabis providers over the next two years. This will give patients better access and more options, but will also create competition for the existing five providers.
Create a public list of doctors willing to recommend medical cannabis. This would allow patients whose doctors will not recommend cannabis to find one who will. The state also has recommended allowing nurse practitioners to recommend cannabis since they can write prescriptions for opioids.
Allow medical cannabis home delivery. Another option for patients who can’t travel or who live far from a dispensary.
Allow medical cannabis access in schools and healthcare facilities. Places that receive federal funding typically don’t allow medical cannabis, even if state law permits it. This includes nursing homes, public housing, hospitals, and campuses, among other places.