Great news for medical cannabis out of New York this week.
On January 24, 2022, the New York State Office of Cannabis Management announcement that it would expand the state’s medical cannabis program for patients with “any condition that the practitioner believes can be treated with medical cannabis.”
This is a major victory for medical cannabis advocates as New York continues to relax what was a very strict medical cannabis program.
Previously, medical cannabis in New York was reserved for serious illnesses such as cancer and HIV.
This is important because when decision makers decide who can and cannot have medical cannabis, they are essentially practicing medicine without a license.
Practicing medicine without a license can be considered a crime, punishable by up to eight years in prison.
Think about it a bit.
Today, New York is truly putting medical cannabis back in the hands of doctors and practitioners – where it belongs.
“It’s great to see the medical cannabis program growing so broadly with the launch of the new certification and registration program and the ability for practitioners to determine the qualification requirements included in the MRTA,” said Tremaine Wright, President of the Cannabis Control Commission.
Hopefully, other strict medical cannabis programs in the United States and abroad will follow in New York’s footsteps.
As cannabis writer David Downs points out in his recent article on LeaflyNew York has taken a number of steps since October to ease its medical cannabis policies: allowing flowers, advancing home cultivation rules, raising legal carry limits, scrapping fees and cutting red tape. .
In short, Governor Kathy Hochul is proving to be a fantastic leader on the cannabis issue. The same goes for the Office of Cannabis Management in New York.
When markets neglect their medical cannabis programs in the wake of adult cannabis laws, it’s something of a tragedy.
Medical cannabis programs should never go in the direction of dodo (extinction). On the contrary, they require regular attention to improve and evolve.
These programs are expected to become more robust after adult use legislation, making things easier and better for patients and healthcare professionals.
For starters, medical cannabis patients often enjoy legitimate benefits, such as lower prices, the right to home grow (depending on the state), and, among other benefits, professional advice.
When someone uses cannabis to address a specific medical problem, professional advice goes far beyond self-care.
For most cannabis consumers (now and in the future), it is totally unacceptable to think that they can walk into an outlet, find what they need, and figure things out on their own.
Many doctors also need advice on cannabis. Some may want to learn more about the basics of medical cannabis or at least have enough knowledge to refer a patient to a cannabis specialist.
Either way, let’s see what happens with enrollment in New York’s medical cannabis program over the next few months.
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