New York: New Regulatory Changes To Expand Medical Marijuana Access

Albany, NY: Newly enacted regulatory changes to the state’s medical cannabis program are expected to result in increased patient access.

As of this week, patients suffering from chronic pain conditions are now eligible to qualify for cannabis therapy. In January, a National Academies review of over 10,000 scientific abstracts acknowledged that “conclusive” evidence exists to support the use of cannabis in pain treatment.

Another change in the program allows physician assistants to provide medical marijuana recommendations. Previously, only doctors and nurse practitioners were eligible to recommend cannabis therapy to qualified patients.

Under the law, recommending physicians must register with the state. To date, fewer than 900 have done so.

Currently, less than 14,500 patients are registered in the statewide program – a comparatively low number compared to other states of its size.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: or Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.