Interior chambers of the New York State Capitol Building.


Legislation to add opioid-use disorder to New York’s medical cannabis qualifying condition list was approved 21-1 by the Assembly Health Committee last week, moving next to the chamber floor for a vote. A same-as bill in the Senate was sent to its Health Committee on Jan. 25.

In the House, the measure is sponsored by Democrat Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and carries 10 co-sponsors. In the Senate, the legislation is sponsored by Democrat Sen. Diane Savino, a longtime champion of medical cannabis reforms in the state.

“If we can find a way to help people have productive lives after they’ve been exposed to the horror of addiction, why would we stand in the way?” – Sen. Savino to the New York Daily News

Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon, a Republican, told the Daily News that he would consider supporting the legislation but needs more information about how cannabis would be used as an exit drug for individuals addicted to opioids, but the details could be “something that [the legislature] develop” as the bill moves forward.

In New York, non-smokable medical cannabis products are available for patients suffering from cancer, HIV and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, and Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s diseases.

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