Patients enrolling for medical marijuana program say they're already hitting a major roadblock

Patients enrolling for medical marijuana program say they're already hitting a major roadblock

If you have severe illnesses, you can now start enrolling in the New York State's Medical Marijuana Program. The objective is to get access to the treatment in the beginning of next month. However, patients have said that they have been already struck with a major roadblock.

A multiple sclerosis patient Susan Rusinko said that she has no idea about whether her specialist can provide her with what she requires. She said that she doesn’t have any appointment with her neurologist before January 18, and even on January 18, she has to check out whether he is registered or not.

Anything can happen, and before that, physicians must be registered at the New York State Department of Health.

The Health Department needs a 4-hour online course for physicians that would cover topics such as drug interactions; side effects, overdose prevention; and dosing. To become a part of the course, one has to pay $249. Then, physicians can certify patients who get qualified.

Patients have to apply for a registry ID online as then only they will be allowed to purchase medical marijuana from a registered dispensary.

According to local advocates for multiple sclerosis, they have hit dead-ends looking for specialists, who want to learn more from them and swear that they will attend the course.

Annette Simiele with MS Resources of Central New York, said, “Initially I had sent out about 60 letters to neurologists/nurse practitioners in our service area. I was really very disheartened that I only had one physician in our service area express any interest”.

Patients will find dispensaries in Central New York only when doctors will sign up.

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