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Eye Care & Vision Associates

Phone: 716-631-EYES(3937)

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Medical Marijuana (Cannabis) Therapy

Thanks to the Compassionate Care Act, New York State recently instituted the New York State Medical Marijuana Program. This legislation represents a great leap forward for both patients and doctors in using medical forms of marijuana, the plant known as cannabis, and makes it legal to use medical marijuana in the formal treatment of some medical diagnoses.

Unlike patients in other states that have legalized forms of cannabis, patients in New York certified to be treated with cannabis therapy must be diagnosed with specific debilitating or life-threatening conditions that are accompanied by an associated or complicating condition. These conditions include cancer, HIV infection (or AIDS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. The complicating issues include cachexia (or wasting syndrome), severe or chronic pain, severe nausea and seizures.

Surprising to many patients, glaucoma is NOT included as a condition which can be treated with cannabis therapy. This exclusion is very important for ECVA patients to remember. However, the new law can still potentially benefit patients we treat every day; patients with the diagnosis of:

  • MS, multiple sclerosis
  • seizure disorder, epilepsy
  • neuropathy

And the diagnosis must be associated with one of the following:

  • severe or chronic pain
  • severe nausea
  • seizures
  • severe or persistent muscle spasms

Within the ECVA patient population, we focus on eye diseases. However, there are many ECVA patients suffering from chronic and severe pain due to some of these diseases who may benefit from cannabis therapy. These patients include those who suffer from diabetic neuropathy; intractable headache pain from migraines or MS; or neurogenic pain from herpes zoster, zoster ophthalmicus, or shingles.

The process for patients to obtain medical marijuana/cannabis therapy begins through a certified New York State licensed physician. These licensed physicians complete a small course of continuing medical education for that certification. Patients are able to certify for therapy through their licensed physician via a state registration website. Once certified, the patient may obtain medicine through the two licensed dispensaries in Western New York. Pain consultations with doctors as well as the cannabis medication may or may not be covered by a patient's health coverage.

ECVA's Dr. Daniel Cotter was one of the first physicians in Western New York to become certified in the state's Medical Marijuana Program.

Learn more at the following websites:

Careers at ECVA

Four Western New York Offices

Elmwood Village

Map and directions to the Elmwood Village office of Eye Care & Vision Associates, Buffalo, NY

932 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222
P: 716.884.0880
F: 716.884.0811


Map and directions to the Orchard Park office of Eye Care & Vision Associates, Buffalo, NY

3712 Southwestern Blvd.
Orchard Park, NY 14127
P: 716.648.5329
F: 716.648.3185

Niagara Falls

Map and directions to the Niagara Falls office of Eye Care & Vision Associates, Buffalo, NY

6917 Plaza Drive
Niagara Falls, NY 14304
P: 716.731.6434
F: 716.731.6439


Map and directions to the Williamsville office of Eye Care & Vision Associates, Buffalo, NY

811 Maple Road
Buffalo, NY 14221
P: 716.631.8888
F: 716.204.1050