New York’s Department of Health has, for the first time, made public a list of medical cannabis providers in the state – but the list is not complete as some 60 percent of the registered physicians did not consent to the publication of their information, the Times-Union reports. There are now 1,000 providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, registered to make medical cannabis recommendations in the state.
The Health Department has also reported a 3,300 increase to the state’s patient list since chronic pain was added to the qualifying condition list in late March, pushing the total number of registered patients over 18,000.
“We are improving access to medical marijuana for patients in need across New York state,” Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in the report. “As we have said from the very beginning, we will continue to grow this program responsibly and help ease the suffering of those who may benefit from this treatment option.”
The spike in patient counts is good news for providers operating under the state’s limited regime, but the counts are still far below the 200,000 patients expected when the program launched. Earlier this month, four out of the five operators filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health to prevent them from adding any additional licenses, arguing that expansion could harm patients and decimate the state’s tightly regulated industry.