Med. marijuana concerns ahead of deadline

Med. marijuana concerns ahead of deadline


Rochester, N.Y. – Medical marijuana grown in Rochester will be ready January 5, yet there are questions whether eligible patients will be able to get it. “We haven’t figured it out yet, which makes the January deadline really difficult for us,” said Dr. William Valenti. Before a patient can be approved by the state, he or she first has to be certified by a doctor. Only about a dozen physicians in Monroe County have expressed interest, and if any of them have been trained and registered, the health department is keeping it a secret. According to an online website, only one physician in the entire state has completed the required training, and he is 335 miles from Rochester. While some would like to see the drug fast tracked, many already involved in its rollout are scrambling to meet the January deadline The marijuana plants growing in Kodak’s old building 12 are about three feet tall. Columbia Care runs the operation and says cannabis products including pills, edibles oils and gels will be ready. “I’m one of those people who see it as a treatment option. I think anything that helps a patient is a good thing,” said Dr Valenti. He treats people with HIV and AIDS. He believes his patients are eligible; there’s just one problem. “I don’t understand how to prescribe medical cannabis. It takes time for physicians to get up to speed in terms of understanding what this is and how to do it,” he said. The FDA doesn’t regulate the drug because the federal government considers it illegal. So doctors here won’t just certify their patients as medically eligible; they will also decide what form of cannibas they should be given and the dosage. That is a problem for some physicians. “I could identify the patients, but in terms of understanding the options that are available and how to do it, that’s going to take a little time,” said Dr Valenti. New York says doctors can find answers in a required 4 1/2 hour online course. In the three weeks it has been up and running, the health department would not say how many doctors have taken it or how many have gone on to register to be able to later certify their patients. Nancy Adams of the Monroe County Medical Society says even doctors who back medical marijuana are waiting for more direction. “There are a lot of unanswered questions, so I’m not sure New York State is going to see physicians flocking to take this training,” she said. conducted a phone survey across the state and found only one of 500 doctors responding would be willing to certify a patient. It’s state-by-state directory of doctors has just one New York listing -for a doctor in Brooklyn. “One of my concerns is that not enough physicians will take the course to become certified and there may be an axis problem for people who legitimately need medical marijuana,” said Adams. Once they are certified by a doctor, patients then have to take another step and register with the state. It is unclear how many physicians will be ready and also have patients ready by January 5th. Even though he backs marijuana as a medicine Dr. Valenti says, for now, he’ll probably stay on the sidelines. “We need to be comfortable with this new drug and do it right,” he said.

Read More at:

Source: Med. marijuana concerns ahead of deadline – 13WHAM News, Weather, Sports, Rochester NY ABC – Top Stories

Tags: Health