Opioid use will now be added as a qualifying condition for Medical Marijuana.
On Monday, the New York State Health Department announced it would be developing a regulatory amendment to add opioid use as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
"The opioid epidemic in New York State is an unprecedented crisis, and it is critical to ensure that providers have as many options as possible to treat patients in the most effective way," said New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
Opioid use now joins 12 other qualifying conditions under the state's Medical Marijuana program. Currently, patients are eligible if they've been diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions; cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, Huntington's disease, post traumatic stress disorder or chronic pain.
One potential sticking point addressed by the Health Commissioner is that prescription opioids are currently covered by insurance while medical marijuana is not.
For more information on New York's Medical Marijuana Program click here.