Patients Use Fewer Opioids Following Enrollment In Medical Cannabis Program

NEW YORK:  Patients enrolled in New York state’s medical cannabis program reduce their use of opioids and spend less money on prescription medications, according to data published online in the journal Mental Health Clinician.

Investigators from GPI Clinical Research labs in Rochester and the University of Buffalo assessed trends in patients’ medical cannabis and prescription drug use following their enrollment in the state’s marijuana access program.

On average, subjects’ monthly analgesic prescription costs declined by 32 percent following enrollment, primarily due to a reduction in the use of opioid pills and fentanyl patches. “After three months treatment, medical cannabis improved [subjects’] quality of life, reduced pain and opioid use, and lead to cost savings,” authors concluded.

The study’s findings are similar to those reported among enrollees in other states’ medical cannabis programs, including the experiences of patients in IllinoisMichiganMinnesotaNew Mexico, and elsewhere.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and costs associated with the treatment of chronic pain with medical cannabis,” appears in The Mental Health Clinician. NORML’s fact-sheet highlighting the relevant, peer-reviewed research specific to the relationship between cannabis and opioids is available online.

Cannabis And Hemp Association, NYU SSDP Host Cannabusiness Seminar 2016

NEW YORK: The Cannabis and Hemp Association (CHA) and New York University’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) have teamed up to present the NYU Cannabusiness Seminar 2016, a FREE exploration of New York State’s medical marijuana industry on Friday, November 18, from 7-11 p.m. at the NYU’s Global Center for Academic and Student Life at 238 Thompson Street.

Led by CHA founder and noted expert and advocate Scott Giannotti, the evening is designed for both NYU students and New Yorkers alike to learn about the current state of the cannabis industry in New York State—and what’s on the horizon. The cornerstones of the Seminar will be Giannotti’s presentation “Preparing for a Career in the Cannabis Industry and an expert-packed panel discussion of “End of Year Review: NYS Medical Cannabis,” outlining the specifics and challenges of the NYS MMJ program.

Giannotti’s presentation, which reviews entrepreneurship opportunities and careers within the scope of NYS-licensed Registered Organizations such as the growing, processing, and sale of cannabis; and barriers to entry one might face, will include the following:

  • The emergence of new skills- and knowledge-based positions like extraction tech, bud trimmer, and cannabis industry compliance
  • The even wider array of industry roles outside of “touching the flower”
  • The pros and cons of forging a cannabis career in New York vs. relocating
  • How to pursue valuable training/internships from reputable companies
  • Entrepreneur or Employee?—the best ways to make a name for yourself in the still-new cannabis industry

Confirmed panelists represent the spectrum of perspectives—from legislative to growing and retail—and will include NYS Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Master Grower Jason Cranford (Haleigh’s Hope/Flowering Hope Foundation), PharmaCannis Lobbyist Fred Polsinelli, attorney Hanan Kolko (Meyer, Suozzi, English, and Klein), and Bryan Clenahan, State Senator Diane Savino’s Chief of Staff.

“The CHA is grateful to NYU’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy for inviting us to put together this seminar for both the NYU and larger community of canna-conscious New Yorkers,” says Giannotti. “We find there remains a huge demand for education on the NYS program and the business opportunities within it, and teaming up with SSDP gives us the chance to reach a larger audience”

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.