The New York State Department of Health announced that nurse practitioners will soon be able to prescribe medical marijuana for severely ill patients.
“Nearly 19,000 nurse practitioners and more than 11,000 physician assistants are licensed to practice in New York State, where they are already authorized to prescribe controlled substances (including opioids),” the health department said in its release. “Empowering them to issue medical marijuana certifications will help patients suffering from severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions, particularly in many rural counties where far fewer physicians are available.”
Nurses need to complete an online course about the different uses of marijuana before they will be able to prescribe it to their patients.
The Department is also looking to expand permissions to physician assistants as well and to implement the recommendations set for the Compassionate Care Act, including making marijuana registration more user-friendly, increasing the amount of labs that can test medical marijuana products in New York, and registering five more organizations for medical marijuana treatment.