Plattsburgh, NY — On Monday, January 24, the State Office of Cannabis Management launched a new certification and registration system for the medical marijuana program, expanding medical marijuana eligibility across New York.

Now, patients are able to be certified for medical marijuana by a practitioner for any condition that they see fit, and more health professionals can prescribe it including podiatrists, midwives, and dentists.

Dr. Athena Graves from Champlain Smiles in Plattsburgh says she would consider prescribing cannabis for some patients. In a statement, she says, “I am aware of research demonstrating the ability for THC to reduce anxiety and pain in some people and many people are anxious about dental treatment in general. If a cannabis-based pill, ointment, or oil allows my patients to comfortably maintain proper oral health, then I am in support of that.”

Kirsten Bezio, the Pharmacy Manager at Curaleaf, a medical cannabis company in Plattsburgh says, “It’s a tremendous move for New York State.”

Before, the use of cannabis was restricted to patients with one or more qualifying conditions. “I think before it was really difficult to fit into one of the qualifying conditions where it really pigeonholed a patient to something they didn’t always fit into,” said Bezio. She notes it’s eye opening to see how much cannabis has changed patients’ lives.

“Its anything from the cancer patient that is looking to gain weight who comes in and is excited because they gained five pounds last week before they went to their appointment because they are able to eat a little bit more using cannabis.”

The Office of Cannabis Management also announced additional changes to the program including a permanent waiver of registration fees for patients and caregivers.