Albany, N.Y. (WHAM) - A bill signed into law Monday now allows medical marijuana to be prescribed for patients as a treatment for pain management.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill which will allow medical marijuana to be recommended as an alternative to opioid use. The bill also allows for substance use disorder treatment providers to use the drug to help manage underlying pain as an alternative to opioids.
The regulation was changed earlier this year by the New York State Department of Health. A registered practitioner needs to sign off on the prescription of medical marijuana by agreeing that a patient's pain degrades health and functional capability, along with other requirements.
"We know that medical marijuana can be a helpful alternative for a wide range of illnesses and conditions," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "By expanding the approved list, we are providing New Yorkers with new options, and preventing the danger that comes from opioid addiction."
Back in July, the Department of Health added opioid replacement as a qualifying condition to prescribe medical marijuana in New York.