New York State finally got on board with offering another alternative to the chronic pain dilemma. Chronic pain is now a qualifying condition for the New York State medical cannabis program. New York’s program1 began in 2016 and has been grossly underutilized largely due to the glaring omission of one of the most prevalent conditions, chronic pain.
When the program was first announced, optimism loomed large as initial estimates for the number of people who would benefit from the program were somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000. To date only 15,000 patients and 911 registered practitioners are part of the program in New York State. This is due, in part, to Gov. Cuomo’s efforts to severely curtail access to medical cannabis based on qualifying conditions. Now that chronic pain is a qualifying condition, perhaps there will be a shift in usage of New York’s program.
Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.
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