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Montefiore, White Plains Hospital Interested in Cuomo’s Medical Marijuana Plan

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
Written by Rasheed Oluwa

White Plains Hospital is one of 10 medical facilities that have expressed interest in a plan proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to distribute medical marijuana in New York state.

White Plains Hospital, along with the  Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx; Albany Medical Center;  Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan; Stony Brook Hospital in Long Island; Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, NY; Roswell Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY; the North Shore LIJ system in New York City; and New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation, according to a report published by Capital New York earlier this week

“We are always in favor of safe and effective treatment options that can alleviate pain and suffering for patients,” White Plains Hospital officials said in a statement.  “At this point, we have expressed interest in learning more about the Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, but have not made any commitment to participate.”

Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO of Montefiore Health System, expressed the same sentiment. The Montefiore Health System includes facilities in Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Hartsdale, Larchmont, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Rye, Scarsdale, Tarrytown and Yonkers.

"As an academic health system, Montefiore’s missions are to heal, to teach, to discover and to advance the health of the communities we serve,” Safyer said in a statement. “We believe we have an obligation to our patients to consider all safe and effective therapeutic options to cure illness or relieve symptoms. In that spirit, we want to further explore New York’s Controlled Substance Therapeutic Program for medical marijuana and look forward to further discussions with the State Health Department.”

Only 20 hospitals in the state would be allowed to dispense the medical marijuana in the Cuomo’s plan.

Cuomo would make the change with an executive action through the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Program, a law enabling marijuana and other controlled substance to be administered to cancer patients, glaucoma patients and patients afflicted with other diseases approved by the state health commissioner.

The state would review its medical marijuana policy using data collected from the program.

Although a bill that would allow for the administration of medical marijuana has already passed the Assembly, it still needed approval from the state Senate and Gov. Cuomo.

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