The New York State Department of Health has announced authorisation of five additional medical marijuana producers to help address growing demand in the state.
At the beginning of August, there were 25,736 certified patients participating in the state’s program, an increase of 72% since chronic pain was added to the list of qualifying conditions in March. In September last year, just over 7,000 patients were registered.
“The addition of these registered organizations will make it easier for patients across the state to obtain medical marijuana, improve the affordability of medical marijuana products through the introduction of new competition, and increase the variety of medical marijuana products available to patients,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
The five companies will manufacture products in four counties and collectively open twenty dispensaries in fifteen counties.
The increase in permits for the manufacture and dispensing of medical marijuana resulted from recommendations contained in a report on the Medical Use of Marijuana Under the Compassionate Care Act.
Other adjustments to NY State’s medical marijuana laws in the last twelve months include the ability for nurse practitioners to certify patients and the permitting of home delivery services.
1,139 registered practitioners were participating in New York’s program at the beginning of this month. To encourage more practitioners to sign on, the Department made significant changes in June to streamline the process; enabling them to register online with the Department and certify patients. Prior to automating the process, it could take several days for practitioner registrations to be completed.
Also during June, the Department approved a second course on the medical use of marijuana, which is a prerequisite for practitioners wanting to participate in the state’s program.
The number of registered patients in New York could see another spike if a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program to cover PTSD, which passed both houses, is signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
In other recent cannabis-related news out of New York State, in mid-July, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that will support boosting New York’s industrial hemp production nearly 6,000 percent.