WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the release of proposed regulations for the state’s medical marijuana program as required by the Compassionate Care Act on Thursday.
The proposed regulations require that medical marijuana certificates be issued only by physicians who have registered with the state Department of Health and received DOH-approved training. Patients with serious medical conditions would be certified by their physicians before applying for the registry identification card needed to receive medical marijuana. Certifications will be good for up to one year.
Patients are also able to designate caregivers to obtain the medical marijuana for them if the caregivers have applied to and been approved by DOH. The registry identification card application fee would be $50 but could be waived in cases of financial hardship. Entities that wish to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana would apply to DOH, providing detailed plans of their infrastructure and operations, and pay a $10,000 application fee for the application review.
“Today we take another step forward to provide much-needed relief to New Yorkers living with extraordinary pain, while balancing the need to safeguard general public health and safety,” Cuomo said. “These proposed regulations are designed with that in mind, so that we can alleviate suffering for patients with serious conditions while also ensuring that medical marijuana is dispensed and administered responsibly.”
The DOH commissioner would approve the forms and delivery systems through which medical marijuana could be offered, excluding smoking, which will be prohibited.
“Our goal is to ensure that New Yorkers have access to the treatment they need through a controlled, regulated process,” said acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “As an added level of security, physicians must review their patients’ history of controlled substances in the I-STOP database before a certification can be issued and before medical marijuana can be dispensed.” The medical marijuana program's proposed regulations will be published in the Wednesday, Dec. 31, New York State Register. The public then has 45 days to comment on the proposed regulations.
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