The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced on Monday the launch of a new medical cannabis certification and registration system that will not only be far easier to use but will expand eligibility criteria for patients who can benefit from medical cannabis.
The program, the first of its kind nationally, will allow the certification of a patient by a practitioner for any condition that the practitioner believes can be treated with medical cannabis, reported local CBS News outlet WRBG Albany. A precedent can be found in Argentina’s REPROCANN program.
This practitioner’s discretion in certifying patients was essentially granted with the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalized cannabis last March.
The new certification and registration system brings the system under the full control of the state’s OCM and continues the work of expanding the program, pursuant to the MRTA.
“It is terrific to see the Medical Cannabis Program expand so vastly with the launch of the new certification and registration program and the ability of practitioners to determine qualifying conditions as included in the MRTA,” said Cannabis Control board chair Tremaine Wright.
“The new cannabis industry is taking shape as we continue to implement the MRTA and provide greater access for New Yorkers to a medicine that we’re learning more about every day. We’re continuing to move forward swiftly and today’s system launch follows our achievements that already include adding whole flower medical product sales, permanently waiving $50 patient fees, and advancing home cultivation regulations, among others.”
OCM executive director Chris Alexander added that the new patient certification and registration system are significant steps forward for New York’s program.
“We will continue to implement the MRTA and ensure that all New Yorkers who can benefit from medical cannabis have the access they need to do so,” Alexander said. “It’s important for New Yorkers to know that even as we shift the medical program to the OCM, your access will not be disrupted and the program will continue to expand.”
All current caregivers will be re-issued new registry ID cards with the patient’s name printed on them to better identify which patient(s) they are authorized to assist.