ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) has expanded its Medical Cannabis Program to allow doctors greater discretion in certifying patients for medical marijuana. A patient can now be certified for medical marijuana use if the doctor believes it can treat or benefit their condition.

The OCM launched a new certification and registration system that included the Medical Cannabis Program expansion. OCM said the system is easier to use and is under the full control of the OCM.

“Launching the new patient certification and registration system and expanding eligibility for the Medical Cannabis Program are significant steps forward for our program. We will continue to implement the MRTA and ensure that all New Yorkers who can benefit from medical cannabis have the access they need to do so,” said OCM Executive Director Chris Alexander. “It’s important for New Yorkers to know that even as we shift the medical program to the OCM, your access will not be disrupted and the program will continue to expand.”

This discretion was granted with the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA). The MRTA shifted the medical program from the New York State Department of Health to the OCM.

“It is terrific to see the Medical Cannabis Program expand so vastly with the launch of the new certification and registration program and the ability of practitioners to determine qualifying conditions as included in the MRTA,” said Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright. “The new cannabis industry is taking shape as we continue to implement the MRTA and provide greater access for New Yorkers to a medicine that we’re learning more about every day.”

Patients certified through the new system will be issued their certification from the OCM. Certifications previously issued from the Department of Health continue to remain valid as long as they have not expired.

For more information on the Medical Cannabis Program certification and registration system, you can visit the OCM website.