Under The New Rules, Which Are Likely To Take Effect In September, Any Prospective Patient Can Enter A Facility To Gain Information And Learn About The Program.

“This is yet another positive step forward for New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program,” said state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. “These regulations will continue to improve the program in several ways, including making new forms of medical marijuana available and improving the dispensing facility experience.” As part of the proposed new regulations, the state also intends to ease restrictions that prevented anyone other than state-certified marijuana patients from entering pot dispensaries. Under the new rules, which are likely to take effect in September, any prospective patient can enter a facility to gain information and learn about the program. Zucker also announced that the state intended to offer a shorter, two-hour online training program for doctors to go along with the four-hour program now available. Under state law, only doctors who have taken the Green Rush training program can certify patients for medical marijuana use. Since it started in January of 2016, New York’s medical marijuana program has struggled to attract both patients and doctors. As of Tuesday, there were 26,561 certified patients and 1,155 registered practitioners participating in the program. “We welcome these regulatory changes and are hopeful they will help enhance patient access,” Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York, one of the first companies licensed to grow pot in the state. The new regulations were the latest of several steps the state has taken to try and boost the program. Last week, the state announced that it was licensing five new companies to grow and distribute the drug, effectively doubling the number of medical marijuana producers operating in New York. Earlier this year, the state added chronic pain to the list of ailments eligible for marijuana treatment.

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