New York Approves Medical Cannabis as Treatment for Chronic Pain

New York Approves Medical Cannabis as Treatment for Chronic Pain

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Getty Since the introduction of the medical marijuana program in New York a year ago, it has been the subject of constant criticism for being severely restrictive – both in the conditions that will qualify and also for the nature of the products it allows. Since New York has had a very short list of 10 conditions that qualify, few locations for thousands all over the state and doesn’t allow for the use of raw cannabis flower, the price of the medicine and the trouble obtaining it has made it far from successful so far. “Improving patient access to medical marijuana continues to be one of our top priorities, as it has been since the launch of the program,” Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement. “These key enhancements further that goal.” However, they have made a few improvements that will likely bring in more patients, which should effectively drive down the cost of the medicine over time. The Department of Health mentioned back in December that they were considering adding chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions. And now, beginning next week, patients suffering from chronic pain will be able to access medical cannabis – with “chronic pain” defined as pain that has lasted, or is expected to last, three months or longer and for which other methods of management have been ineffective. This should significantly add to the number of patients who both qualify and register for the medical marijuana program in New York. The list of qualifying conditions now includes chronic pain, cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, MS, spinal damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, and Huntington’s disease. Prior to the addition of chronic pain, the number of registered patients was only 14,437 – in one of the most populated states in the entire […]

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