GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex, a CBD medicine, made in New York. (Kathy Young, Associated Press)

Changes coming for New York’s medical marijuana program

ALBANY, N.Y. — The state Department of Health is boosting New York’s medical marijuana program to meet growing demand.

Related: New York medical marijuana program improving, but will it ever reach full potential?

Effective immediately, doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can register online and certify patients the same day. Officials say that will help streamline and simplify the registration process for medical professionals.

The Health Department also has approved the addition of a second course on the medical use of marijuana for those who want to participate in the state program.

More changes may be on the way. The Daily News reported that the New York Senate passed a bill last week authorizing medical marijuana for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill is headed to Governer Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

The state’s medical marijuana program has more than 22,000 patients, and that number is on the rise. In late March, the department added chronic pain as a qualifying condition and since then an additional 7,504 patients have become certified.