One month after announcing it would dramatically overhaul qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use, the New York State Health Department of Health announced Thursday that it had filed emergency regulations instituting the new policy. Effective immediately, New Yorkers may now replace opioid prescriptions with medical marijuana.

As of July 12, any condition for which a doctor can prescribe an opioid now counts as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.

The new regulation has major implications for patient access across the state. Beyond approving marijuana as a replacement for opioids, the rules expand the definition of qualifying pain disorders.

The State Health Department hopes the new provision to its Compassionate Care Act will accomplish two things. Helping to expand access to the state’s struggling medical cannabis program while simultaneously addressing New York’s ongoing struggle with prescription opioid abuse.

Studies attest to the effectiveness of cannabis for treating chronic pain. As does substantial patient testimony. And that evidence has made chronic pain one of the most common qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, next to epilepsy.

See the original article at High Times