New York State Department of Health Announces New Medical Marijuana Regulations

December 8, 2017

Regulations to Improve Program for Patients, Practitioners and Registered Organizations Effective December 27, 2017

ALBANY, NY (December 8, 2017) – The New York State Department of Health today announced the filing of regulations for adoption that will improve the state’s Medical Marijuana Program for patients, practitioners and registered organizations. These regulations, which will go into effect on December 27, 2017, allow for the sale of additional medical marijuana products, an improved experience for patients and visitors at dispensing facilities and the ability for the Department to approve new courses that will allow prospective practitioners to complete their training in a shorter amount of time.

The Department previously announced the introduction of these regulations in August 2017.

“Ensuring access to medical marijuana for eligible patients is central to the Department’s efforts to responsibly grow New York’s Medical Marijuana Program,” said New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “The new regulations will benefit current and prospective patients and practitioners, as well as registered organizations, and continue to build on the progress the program has made since its launch nearly two years ago.”

Under the new regulations, registered organizations (ROs) are allowed to manufacture and distribute additional products including topicals such as ointments, lotions and patches; solid and semi-solid products, including chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges; and certain non-smokable forms of ground plant material. All products are subject to rigorous testing, and the Department reserves the right to exclude inappropriate products or those which pose a threat to public health.

The new regulations also allow prospective patients and practitioners to enter dispensing facilities to speak directly with RO representatives, learn about products and get information about the medical marijuana program. In addition, people other than designated caregivers may accompany patients to dispensing facilities.

Under these regulations, practitioners will soon be able to take a shortened version of the currently available four-hour courses required to certify patients for medical marijuana. The Department will work with course providers to offer a two-hour course, which is a typical length for other medical education courses.

The regulations also streamline the manufacturing requirements for medical marijuana products, broaden the capability of registered organizations to advertise, amend security requirements and clarify laboratory testing methods.

Other recent enhancements to New York’s Medical Marijuana Program include authorizing five additional registered organizations to manufacture and dispense medical marijuana, adding post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain as qualifying conditions, empowering nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients and permitting home delivery.

As of December 8, 2017, there are 38,642 certified patients and 1,358 registered practitioners participating in the program.

For more information on New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, visit: