More than 7,000 New York residents have signed up since the state began allowing patients with certain conditions to obtain non-smokeable marijuana preparations this year in one of the nation’s most cautious medical marijuana programs. The state is looking to expand it, with plans for home delivery and more dispensaries, the Associated Press reports.
State health officials will allow nurse practitioners to authorize medical cannabis, and are considering proposals to make chronic pain a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. To make it easier for patients to find doctors, the state may post an online list of physicians who participate in the program. The steps are overdue and don’t go nearly far enough, said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, an author of the law that was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014. There are 17 dispensaries around the state operated by five companies that grow and process the marijuana. Three more are scheduled to open. The state’s expansion plan calls for up to 20 more dispensaries.