On Medical Marijuana, Focus Turns To Implementation

Gov Cuomo

NEW YORK:  With Gov. Andrew Cuomo set to sign a medical-marijuana bill into law this week, supporters and medical providers are turning their attention to the state’s efforts to implement the program and whether any additional diseases will become eligible for treatment.

Cuomo has until July 5 to sign the marijuana bill, which he helped broker and has pledged to approve. His signature will start an 18-month clock for the state to craft regulations for the program, award contracts to grow and dispense the drug and decide whether conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder should be included.

For some major medical providers and groups in New York, the program has been met with a mix of intrigue and apprehension, and it’s unclear which doctors will actively participate in the program.

The legislation crafted by the governor and legislative leaders includes several innovative provisions unique to New York’s plan, most importantly a restriction against smokable forms of marijuana,” according to a statement from the Buffalo-based Roswell Park Cancer Institute. “There is some evidence that medical marijuana may be an effective way to address pain or other symptoms related to cancer or cancer treatment, and we hope to see well-designed clinical research studies implemented to evaluate its effects.”


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