Chronic Pain Has New Classification For New York Medical Marijuana Patients

Chronic Pain Now A Qualifying Condition in New York

Chronic Pain Has New Classification For New York Medical Marijuana Patients- The New York  Department of Health recently clarified their stance on chronic pain conditions for inclusion in the state’s medical marijuana program.

According to the DoH, the agency is classifing chronic pain as:

“any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where the patient has contraindications, has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options.”

A contraindication is when a certain treatment is withheld from a patient due the the harm it would do.

The definition also requires documented medical evidence that such pain has lasted three months for three or more months beyond onset, “or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset.”

New Yorks New Medical Marijuana Qualifying Condition

The state’s program did not previously cover patients with chronic pain conditions,  “I’d say we’re definitely satisfied it’s adequate,” said Stephen Dahmer, chief medical officer for Vireo Health, of the state’s definition.


Dahmer said New York’s definition of chronic pain is more extensive than Minnesota’s and could lead to an even higher increase in business here.

“I’ll be honest we’re hoping for even more,” said Dahmer. “We’ve seen through the program’s history, in both Minnesota and New York, that this is truly benefiting [those with chronic pain] and in ways that other modalities have not. The truth of the matter is this comes down to the patient-physician relationship,” he said. “If you put the two side by side the Minnesota definition is pain that cannot be removed according to generally accepted practices. New York has more definitions: severe, debilitating pain that degrades health and capability. . . The true definition is going to come in that patient-physician interaction.” “We’re seeing more interest in the medical community,” he said. “We’re 110 percent prepared for pain to move forward in NY . . . We’re excited to be able to serve the patients and we’re ready for it.”

New Yorks Medical Marijuana Program

DOH data shows that 750 physicians have registered for the state’s medical marijuana program, qualifying 10,730 patients in New York.

Giannottis is part of an organization that is focused on cannabis education and pushing for looser regulations of the substance in New York. He’s also focusing on separating the medical benefits of cannabis from typical notions of recreational marijuana use and its legal restrictions in the state.

“As long as that stigma exists and until its removed there’s always going to be crime around cannabis,” he said, adding that cannabis (the chemical found in the marijuana plant) has been found to be effective against a wide range of illnesses, and is known to be antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and a neuroprotectant.

He also mentions cannabis as a safer way to treat pain than opioid-based medicines.

“This chronic pain distinction now opens up the market for everyday people to switch from opioids to cannabinoid-based therapy, which is so important because that also affects addiction,” said Giannotti.

On the States Medical Marijuana program

 program and it wasn’t thrown to alcohol, gaming or tobacco [agencies],” he said. “It’s a good sign because people here in New York are going to get a medicine that’s regulated.”

Resources: New York gazette


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