Earlier this week, the state of New York launched its medical marijuana patient registry, an online service that allows people to sign up to begin buying medicinal cannabis once it becomes available in January. As of now, only people dealing with certain health conditions can qualify for the new program.
“Only patients with one of the following severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions may qualify for the Medical Marijuana Program: cancer, positive status for HIV or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, or Huntington’s disease,” said the registry’s website.
“Patients must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms.”
To begin the new process, patients must first meet with “a physician who has taken an online course and registered with the program.”
Once the physician gives the patient a prescription for medical marijuana, the patient can then register online using the new website.
“Soon after registering online, patients will receive a registry identification card (ID card) in the mail,” the website explained.
“Certified patients must show the ID card when they buy medical marijuana at a dispensing facility.”
Medical marijuana patients under the age of 18 must apply through a proxy.
The online service is the most recent stage in an ongoing process of legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes in the state of New York.
“New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted the Compassionate Care Act, the state’s proposed medical marijuana program, in July 2014,” CBS New York summarized.
“In November 2015, Cuomo approved speeding up the process to allow for the program to start providing patients access to medical marijuana in January 2016.”
When medical marijuana finally becomes available next month, patients will only be allowed to purchase cannabis products from one of five state-approved cannabis manufacturing facilities.