Study: Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Opioid Use, Leads to Cost Savings

Using medical cannabis results in improved quality of life, reduced opiod use, and cost savings from reduced prescription drug purchases, according to a new study of patients enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program.

“Medical cannabis (MC) is commonly claimed to be an effective treatment for chronic or refractory pain”, begins the study’s abstract. “With interest in MC in the United States growing, as evidenced by the 29 states and 3 US districts that now have public MC programs, the need for clinical evidence supporting this claim has never been greater.”

With this in mind, researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and GPI Clinical Research conducted a “retrospective, mirror-image study that investigated MC’s effectiveness in patients suffering from chronic pain associated with qualifying conditions for MC in New York State.” The primary outcome “was to compare European Quality of Life 5 Dimension Questionnaire (EQ-5D) and Pain Quality Assessment Scale (PQAS) scores at baseline and 3 months post-therapy.” The secondary outcomes “included comparisons of monthly analgesic prescription costs and opioid consumption pre- and post-therapy.” Tolerability was assessed by side effect incidence.

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New York Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that allows the medical use of cannabis for those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The bipartisan legislation (A7006) adds PTSD to New York’s medical cannabis program, allowing those with the condition to become legal medical cannabis patients. As with other conditions that are part of the state’s medical cannabis program, those with PTSD will need to receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state before they can legally purchase and use medical cannabis. Governor Cuomo signed the bill today, on Veterans Day.

A7006 received widespread, bipartisan support in New York’s Legislature. It was approved by the Assembly in May with a vote of 131 to 8, and was subsequential passed by the Senate 50 to 13. New York now becomes the 28th state to allow medical cannabis for PTSD.

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New York Legislature Approves Measure to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

A bipartisan proposal to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying medical marijuana condition in New York has been passed by the state’s legislature and sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 5629 today with a 50 to 13 vote. The Assembly version of the measure, Assembly Bill 7006, was passed in May with an overwhelming 131 to 8 vote. The legislation allows those with PTSD to legally purchase, possess and use medical cannabis, given they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state.

“State lawmakers are standing up for thousands of New Yorkers who are suffering from PTSD and might benefit from medical marijuana,” said Kate Bell, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “We hope Gov. Cuomo will do the same and sign this important legislation. With a single swipe of his pen, he can help countless people find relief.”

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Medical Cannabis for PTSD Bill Passed by New York Assembly

Legislation to expand New York’s medical cannabis program has been given approval by New York’s Assembly.

Assembly Bill 7006, sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 36 Assemblymembers (30 Democrats and 6 Republicans), has received approval from the full Assembly. It will now be sent to the Senate, where passage would send it to Governor Andrew Cuomo for consideration.

The proposed law would add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to New York’s list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions. This would allow those with the condition to legally purchase, possess and use cannabis and cannabis products, given they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state.

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Chronic Pain Now a Medical Cannabis Condition in New York

As of today, chronic pain is a qualifying medical cannabis condition in New York.

Chronic PainThe change brought forth by New York’s Health Department allows those with chronic pain to legally possess and use cannabis medicines if they receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state. This would allow them to access one of the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries.

“After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain”; Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said when the department first announced the change in December. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State; and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.”

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New York to Add Chronic Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

New York’s Health Department has announced that chronic pain will soon become a qualifying medical cannabis condition.

Chronic PainOnce the change takes effect chronic pain will become the most far-reaching medical cannabis condition in the state in terms of the number of people it effects.

“After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain”; Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said in press release. “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the program.”

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New York to Allow Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants to Recommend Medical Cannabis

Physician AssistantsNew York’s Department of Health has announced that it has filed amendments to the state’s medical cannabis law that would allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to recommend medical cannabis. This will greatly increase the number of people in the state eligible to certify patients for medical cannabis use.

“Authorizing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients will only help to further strengthen the program and improve patient access,” says State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. He says the department is also considering adding chronic pain as a qualifying medical cannabis condition; a decision on that is expected by the end of the month.

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Medical Cannabis Expansion Bills Passed by New York Assembly Health Committee

medcannabisNew York’s Assembly Health Committee has passed two bills that would expand the state’s restrictive medical cannabis program.

Under the proposed laws, the state’s requirement that distributors of medical cannabis products must cultivate their own cannabis and produce their own medical products would be repealed. The measures would also double the number of companies allowed to distribute cannabis to registered patients (the number would rise from four, to eight).

Read moreMedical Cannabis Expansion Bills Passed by New York Assembly Health Committee

New York’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Opening Thursday

medNew York’s Department of Health has announced that the state’s medical cannabis program will be officially underway starting this Thursday, with the opening of multiple dispensaries throughout the state.

“New York State’s Medical Marijuana Program is scheduled to launch on January 7, 2016 — just 18 months after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act”, Department of Health spokesman James Pastiras said in a Tuesday press release.

Dispensaries planning to be open this Thursday include Columbia Care in Manhattan, PharmaCann in Amherst and a dispensary ran by Bloomfield Industries will open in Williamsville.

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Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to Open Throughout New York Within 6 Months

newjerseyThe New York State Department of Health issued licenses today to five organizations giving them the authority to cultivate and distribute cannabis for medical use.

Each of the five organizations will be allowed to open four dispensaries and four cultivate centers, with the dispensaries mandated to be open within six months (putting the deadline at the end of January).

These outlets are possible do to the Compassionate Care Act, which was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in July of last year.

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