PRESS RELEASE – Expanding Medical Marijuana Providers

Contact: Mischa Sogut, (518) 455-4941, SogutM@assembly.state.ny.us
5/26/16

Expanding Medical Marijuana Providers

The Assembly yesterday passed two bills to improve patient access to medical marijuana under the 2014 “Compassionate Care Act.”  Today, patients are struggling to find health care providers authorized to prescribe medical marijuana due to changes to the bill made by the Governor in order to secure his support.  These bills bring the law closer to the original bill as passed by the Assembly and supported by patients and their doctors.

A9510 (Gottfried): Authorizes nurse practitioners and physician assistants (NPs and PAs) to certify patients for medical marijuana. “New York law allows NPs and PAs to prescribe the strongest and most dangerous controlled substances, but not medical marijuana,” said Assembly Member Gottfried. “Patients in need should not be denied access to critical medication just because they are treated by a PA or NP.”

A10123 (Peoples-Stokes): There are only about 600 New York physicians registered to certify patients for medical marijuana, but no public list of them. As a result, patients are forced to cold-call doctors in hopes of finding one, or go through social media or other potentially unreliable sources. This bill would require the contact information of registered practitioners to be on the Department’s website (practitioners who do not wish to be listed could opt out). “I believe that current law – both the Compassionate Care Act and the Freedom of Information Law – requires that this list be public, as was the legislative intent. But apparently it needs to be spelled out.” said Assembly Member Gottfried.

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