Medical marijuana has long been hailed as a solution to many health issues. Moreover, it is fast becoming known as a great way of enhancing general health. With its healing benefits and limited side effects, the nation is fast realizing how many benefits there are to this medical solution.
Now, it seems that New York is getting on the bandwagon as well. While medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, other states quickly caught on. And now in New York, the state is set to relax its laws on prescribing marijuana, permitting home delivery and to take additional steps to expand its medical cannabis program.
Last month the New York Department of Health actually recommended New York increase its access to the program, since currently it is one of the most restrictive in America. Dr. Howard Zucker, Health Commissioner explained that they are: “constantly evaluating the program to make it more effective for patients and practitioners, and [they] believe that the implementation of these recommendations will do just that.”
The longer term goal for New York is the review of additional companies selling medical cannabis which will manufacture and distribute it for them. Right now, the limit of companies is five.
It’s always helpful to know about medical institutions that could be of assistance should the need arise, and that are doing innovative work. One such location is the AO Foundation, started in 1958 in Biel. They are a medically guided nonprofit organization that is led by surgeons who specialize in the treatment of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Today, they have more than 16,000 surgeons, operating room personnel and scientists who are involved from over 100 countries.
With Professor R. Geoff Richards, the Director of AO Research and Development, the AO Foundation’s mission is to foster and expand their network of health care professionals in education, in research and in the development and clinical investigation for more effective patient care around the world.
To this end, they have many innovative endeavors. They have an AO Surgery Reference which is an online reference tool designed for everyday clinical life. It was first introduced in 2006 and was launched with six anatomical modules.
Today, they have a great deal of research and development, led by Prof. R. Geoff Richards. They also have AO Clinical Divisions which include four areas: trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial and veterinary surgery.
Five New York pharmaceutical companies will be given a license from the New York State Department of Health to both grow and dispense medical marijuana. These are: Bloomfield Industries Inc., Columbia Care NY LLC, Empire State Health Solutions LLC, Etain and PharmaCann LLC. They were selected out of 43 companies that applied for the licenses.
It is hoped that the medical marijuana program for New York will be fully functioning by early next year. Until that time a lot has to happen, such as, first and foremost the registration of doctors and patients. Doctors need to participate in a four-hour New York State Department of Health-approved course before registering with the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program Registry. Without this no medical marijuana will be sold legally. Even those in desperate need from illnesses such as cancer will not be able to get it and have to date, not been able to access this.
Julie Netherland PhD., Deputy State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance further explained that “in the coming weeks, we will be taking a closer look at the companies to learn what we can about them. And over the long term, we’ll be working to insure they are held to the highest standards of corporate integrity and patient care.”
It was in July of last year that Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act to provide patients who “suffer from designated serious conditions who also have a condition clinically associated with, or a complication of, the serious condition to be certified by their physicians” to be able to access marijuana for medical use.