Health and mental health facilities in New York State may now obtain medical marijuana for certified patients

October 25, 2017

Health Care Alert

The New York State Department of Health has amended its medical marijuana regulations to allow certain facilities and schools to become designated caregivers for patients certified under the Medical Marijuana Program.

Patients with certain severe or life-threatening conditions may be certified and register with the New York state Medical Marijuana Program to obtain and possess marijuana for medical purposes. Patients are permitted to designate caregivers to pick up their medical marijuana or to administer it to them when they are unable to do so. Originally, designated caregivers had to be natural persons. Pursuant to emergency regulations effective October 5, 2017, certain facilities and divisions, departments, components, floors or other units of such facilities may register with the Department of Health and be eligible to possess, acquire, deliver, transport and administer medical marijuana on behalf of a certified patient. This is intended to prevent patients from experiencing any adverse events associated with abrupt discontinuation of a treatment alternative that may be providing relief to the patient because they are admitted to a health or mental health facility.

Facilities eligible to register with the department are general hospitals, residential health care facilities, adult care facilities, community mental health residences, NYS psychiatric hospitals, mental hygiene facilities, inpatient or residential chemical dependence treatment programs, residential facilities for the care and treatment of persons with developmental disabilities, residential treatment facilities for mentally disabled children and youth and public or private schools.

This regulation will be effective until January 3, 2018, unless it is adopted as a permanent regulation or re-adopted as an emergency regulation. The Department of Health is accepting comments until December 9, 2017.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

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