The New York State Capitol Building in Albany, New York.

Brad Aaron

New York Gov. Signs MMJ-for-PTSD Bill

Medical cannabis is now available as a post-traumatic stress disorder therapy in New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislature-approved measure during a Saturday Veterans Day parade, according to a New York Daily News report. The Assembly first passed the bill 131-8 in May and the Senate followed 50-13 in June.

“Many of our veterans are suffering from PTSD and the medical community has determined that marijuana can be a helpful treatment in some areas,” Cuomo said in the report. “And part of our commitment to do everything we can do if there are veterans who are suffering and we can make a treatment available, we want to.”

Rep. Richard Gottfried, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee and sponsor of the chamber’s version of the measure, in a statement said Cuomo’s announcement is “another welcoming step in the expanding and strengthening” of the state’s medical cannabis program.

In late March the state Department of Health added chronic pain as a qualifying condition under the regime, and in August opened up the operator licensing to five additional companies. The agency also proposed allowing more products for patients, including topicals, chewable tablets and lozenges; however, raw flower products are still not being considered.

According to the Health Department, as of Nov. 7 there are 35,318 registered patients and 1,312 registered medical professionals enrolled in the program.

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