NEW YORK STATE -- The New York State Health Department filed regulations that would allow more patients to have access to medical marijuana.

Last week, the agency said it was developing regulations to allow patients with chronic pain to get the medicine.

The state released the definition of "chronic pain" Thursday.

Chronic pain, they stated, will be defined as:

-Any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability.

-A situation in which a drug, procedure, or surgery should not be used because it may be harmful.

-A situation where there is documented medical evidence of pain lasting three months or more.

In addition to defining chronic pain, Thursday's announcement came with several other enhancements that the state says will improve access for medical marijuana patients, streamline production, increase choice and reduce costs.

Those enhancements include allowing wholesaling of medical marijuana products, removing the cap on the number of products available to patients and making it easier for hospitals to allow certified patients to self-administer medical marijuana.

“These are major steps forward for New York’s Medical Marijuana Program and the thousands of patients who are benefiting from it every day,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker. “These enhancements will continue to strengthen the program and improve patient access by making medical marijuana available to patients suffering from chronic pain and making more products available at dispensing facilities across the state.”

The amendments to the state's Medical Marijuana Program will be published in the New York State Register on December 21, 2016 and are subject to a 45-day comment period before adoption.