<p>Tony Newman 646-335-5384<br />
Julie Netherland 347-781-5435</p>
New York – Less than three months before New York’s medical marijuana program is supposed to become fully operational in January of 2016, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) today launched an online training program that is required for physicians to certify patients to receive medical marijuana in New York. The training course, which will be provided by TheAnswerPage, is 4.5 hours and qualifies participants to receive continuing medical education (CME) credits. The training costs $249 and, according to the DOH website, covers: the pharmacology of marijuana; contraindications; side effects; adverse reactions; overdose prevention; drug interactions; dosing; routes of administration; risks and benefits; warnings and precautions; and abuse and dependence. Advocates say they will be reviewing the course to determine if it meets the needs of providers and patents.
Statement from the Drug Policy Alliance’s Julie Netherland, PhD, deputy state director for New York:
“Medical marijuana patients in New York have been waiting years for relief. The launching of the physician training marks an important step forward, but if the state is going to meet their January deadline of providing medical marijuana to qualified patients, they’ll need do some aggressive outreach to get doctors enrolled, through the course, and registered to certify patients. They also need to quickly launch a system for registering certified patents. New Yorkers cannot afford any delays.”