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New York Doctors Receive New Requirements for Prescribing Medical Marijuana

Doctors in the State of New York are required to attend a 4 hour continuing medical education (CME) if they want to recommend marijuana to their patients.

New York state’s Compassionate Care Act was signed into law in June 2014, thus legalizing the medical use of marijuana. Physician training was established by the statute and the state recently announced the availability of the course last month on October 20th.

The cost of the four-hour CME course will be $250.

Many physicians within the state have been surprised at the length of the course and at the cost for taking it. The requirement, one of the most stringent in the country is the only one of its kind. Twenty-Three states have approved legalized medical marijuana, but only one state other than New York, Massachusetts requires only 2 hours of CME.

The course in New York will cover the endocannabinoid system and phytocannabinoids, including pharmacology; administration and dosing, including contraindications, drug metabolism, and drug interactions; physiology; side effects; and cannabis use disorder and other related topics.

Pharmacists who are employed by marijuana dispensaries are also required to complete the 4-hour course.

Patients will not be able to access the 20 dispensaries in the state until they receive certification from their physicians that they are eligible. This process will not be available until January 2016. When patients receive certification, they must then apply to the health department for a registry identification card. Patients will only be certified for the card if they have cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, or Huntington’s disease.

Because of the state’s additional cost and time requirements for physicians, according to chief operating officer, John Nicolazzo of Marijuanadoctors.com, interest in becoming a doctor who is certified could be severely dampened. “we only had one physician that was actually interested in participating,” Nicolazzo said in a recent interview.

After further queries of physicians, the company found that many doctors were hesitant to get involved because of the scheduling of cannabis and also because of potential liability issues. Nicolazzo went on to say that the company will soon offer a malpractice policy that will cover any liability that could potentially arise as the result of certifying a patient for the use of medical marijuana. Marijuanadoctors.com also said that it plans to launch a broad CME course on marijuana as well.

Even when doctors do their best to keep up with trends and keep patients informed, things can go wrong. When something like this happens, that’s the time when you need an attorney who specializes in malpractice and personal injury law.

If you or a loved one has suffered as the result of medical malpractice or negligence, contact the offices of Bottar Leone, PLLC. We will meet with you to evaluate your claim and determine if you have a case. One of our attorneys can then begin the process of filing your malpractice lawsuit and begin the process to insure that you and your loved ones receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation and legal analysis.