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Josh RultenbergAug 11, 2017, 2:42 pm

NY to allow use of medical marijuana lozenges and lotions

State also plans shorter training program for physicians interested in authorizing drug for patients

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New York state is making more changes to its medical marijuana program.

Health officials announced new regulations Thursday that will permit new forms of the drug, including chewable and effervescent tablets and lozenges as well as topical lotions, ointments and patches.

The state also plans to create a new, shorter training program for physicians interested in authorizing medical marijuana for patients.

New York has one of the nation's more conservative medical cannabis programs, and smokeable marijuana still isn't allowed. But officials say they're continuing to look for ways to tinker with the rules to make it easier for patients to get the help they need.

The new regulations are expected to take effect next month.

As of Tuesday, there were 26,561 patients authorized to obtain medical marijuana in the state.

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