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New York expands its medical cannabis program

New York’s Office of Cannabis Management announced a new medical cannabis certification program on Monday, January 24. Physicians and other certified health care professionals can now prescribe medical marijuana for any ailment, including anxiety and insomnia.

The change comes as part of the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which legalized the production, distribution, and use of marijuana in March 2021. The state declined to make medical marijuana provisions immediately active upon the law’s passage despite urging from lawmakers, according to the Times-Union.

Senator Diane Savino, one of the architects of New York’s medical cannabis program, is excited to see the change finally take effect. She has been pushing for this move since before legalization was even on the table.

Still, some worry this news comes too late, and legalization of the plant for recreational use might make the medical program obsolete. Medical cannabis distributors can expect to see an increase in patients come February as more people consult with their healthcare providers.