Hot on the heels of allowing chronic pain patients to consume cannabis of the first time, New York State is now going to allow medical marijuana patients to consume their medicine on hospital grounds.
The announcement marks the third time in as many weeks that the state Department of Health has introduced changes to the program, which launched last January as a result of New York State’s Compassionate Care Act.
This does not mean that patients will be allowed to smoke blunts in hospital corridors. New York State does not permit the sales of smoke-able medical marijuana at all currently, so hospitals will be charged with creating policies for patient use and allowing caregivers administer under what are sure to be strict guidelines.
The regulation is expected to go into effect in February.
In the past two weeks, the New York State said it would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical marijuana; while adding chronic pain to a list of 10 qualifying conditions. The addition of chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions fleshes out the NYS regulations, which until recently were some of the most stringent in the country. Chronic pain is defined by the health department as:
“Any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where the patient has contraindications, has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options; and where there is documented evidence of such pain having lasted three months or more beyond onset, or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset.”