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Getting grandma high in the nursing home? Now you can in New York

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Legal medical marijuana company Etain has reached an agreement with a nursing home in New York City’s Bronx area to gives its residents access to medicinal pot.

“We consider it a very vital [part]of our strategy for outreach and building a customer base,” Etain founder Hillary Peckham told the Daily News.

Since medical marijuana was legalised in NY a year ago, only 13,400 people have signed up to receive the drug, with only half of these becoming repeat customers.

So why isn’t their product flying off the shelves?

Sales not so dope

Legal growers are blaming the difficult application process for patients and doctors. Less than 900 doctors have signed up to be able to prescribe medicinal pot.

Under state law, it can also only be used to treat a limited number of conditions, such as chronic pain.

Under the new arrangement, Etain will help nursing home staff register with the state to be able to prescribe the drug to residents. The company would then deliver it straight to the patients or their family members to administer themselves under NY’s new home delivery program.

Healthcare workers are banned by federal law from giving the drug directly to residents.

A growing market?

The plan has met with backlash from opponents of legal marijuana who say employees could steal the drugs for their own use.

But Stephen Hanse, president of the New York State Health Facilities Association, says he believes more facilities will end up offering the service.

“At the end of the day, we are in the business of providing patient care and if this is something that would be of benefit to patients, I believe it will catch on,” Hanse said.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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