Phillip Grondin

Three Bills in NY Seek Fixes to Medical Marijuana Law

New York’s Assembly Health Committee favorably reported three medical marijuana bills that would improve upon the Compassionate Care Act, the committee announced today.

The three bills, sponsored by Health Committee Chairman Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D), would allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana, expand the list of eligible conditions, remove the limit of 10 milligrams of THC per dose, create a medical marijuana advisory committee that would assist the health commissioner in navigating the program, and allow non-New Yorkers access to medical cannabis in the state.

Bills A.9510 and A.9562 reintroduce measures proposed in the original version of the law that were deleted prior to its passage.

A.9510 seeks to give PAs and NPs marijuana prescribing power, and to certify patients for the program. In New York, these types of health professionals currently have the power to prescribe “the strongest and most dangerous controlled substances,” Gottfried said in a press release, referring to opioid-based pharmaceuticals.     

A.9562, which carries a same-as version in the State Senate championed by Diane Savino (D), seeks to remove the dosing limit and add Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, dystonia, muscular dystrophy, wasting syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus to the list of the program’s treatable conditions. The conditions were removed before the bill’s passage.

Under A.9553 an advisory committee would be created to help advise the health commissioner in matters of patient and caregiver appeals and program recommendations. According to the bill text, the committee would consist of healthcare practitioners, patients or patient representatives, controlled substance regulation experts, medical marijuana industry professionals, and members from the law enforcement community. The bill would also allow for medical marijuana patients in other states to have their needs met in New York.

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