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RECOMMENDING CANNABIS IN NEW YORK
If you are a healthcare professional who wishes to recommend medical cannabis, you must be licensed to do so by the State of New York and have to meet the following criteria:
- Be qualified to treat patients with one or more of the qualifying conditions;
- Be licensed, in good standing as a physician and practicing medicine, in the State of New York;
- Have completed an educational course developed by the New York Department of Health ("Department of Health" or "Department");
- Have registered with the Department of Health to issue patient certifications for medical cannabis.
- Be licensed, registered, or certified by New York State to prescribe controlled substances to humans within the State, such as physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, podiatrists, and midwives.
- Complete at least a two-hour course before they can begin certifying patients for medical cannabis.
New York requires all physicians seeking to certify patients for medical marijuana to take a two- to four-hour physician education program, which is now available via The Answer Page.
Updates to regulations in August 2017 allowed nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify qualifying patients. These regulations also provided an option for a two-hour education course as well as the four-hour education course that was already in place.
Upon successful completion of that program, practitioners may register with the Medical Marijuana Program ("MMP") by emailing the course completion certificate (in PDF format) to [email protected] along with the physician's state license number and Health Commerce System (HCS) User ID. Once validated, practitioners will receive, via e-mail, a link authorizing them to participate in the MMP and issue patient certifications.
In issuing certifications to qualifying patients, practitioners must also comply with the following requirements:
- Must consult the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program prior to issuing certification to review patient's controlled substance history;
- Must retain a copy of each patient's certification;
- Must report all patient certifications to the Department;
- Have the patient under continued care for his or her serious condition;
- Must not knowingly issue certification to a person with (a) no medical need for it or (b) for a purpose other than the treatment of a qualifying condition as defined by law in the State of New York.
Qualifying Medical Conditions:
- HIV infection or AIDS
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury with spasticity
- inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington's disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Pain that degrades health and functional capability as an alternative to opioid use
- Substance Use Disorder
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- or any other condition, at the discretion of your health care provider.
Medical professionals have a legal right to recommend cannabis as a treatment in any state, as protected by the First Amendment. Established by a 2004 United States Supreme Court decision to uphold earlier federal court rulings that found doctors and their patients have a fundamental Constitutional right to freely discuss treatment options.
More resources for medical professionals can be found here.
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