While These Changes Will Bolster The Program, Patient Accessibility Remains One Of The Biggest Hurdles.

Although I understood why the state imposed tight restrictions on the types of marijuana medications that could be prescribed and who could receive, manufacture and dispense them, I knew the number of patients who would benefit would be limited. But as happened in other states, New York learned along Medical marijuana the way, and after thoughtful analysis made improvements that will greatly increase access. One of the most important changes, implemented earlier this year, permits patients with chronic pain to receive marijuana-based medications. This is likely to bring relief to thousands more New Yorkers. Another important one allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients as eligible for marijuana-based medicines, just as they may currently prescribe other pharmaceutical medications. While these changes will bolster the program, patient accessibility remains one of the biggest hurdles. With the best of intentions to ensure the program rolled out smoothly, New York initially licensed five companies to manufacture the medications and distribute them through a total of 20 dispensaries that they operate. As a result, New York has one dispensary for every 975,000 people. By comparison, there is one pharmacy for every 3,600 people. Moreover, 49 of the 62 counties in New York have no dispensary at all.

To read more visit http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20170525/OPINION/170529945/new-york-must-further-expand-its-medical-marijuana-program

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