State Jurisdiction: New York State Department of Health
Email: [email protected]
Registering for the New York State (NYS) Medical Marijuana Program
Patients are required to have a recommendation from a licensed marijuana physician before they can start their application for a New York medical marijuana card. After receiving your signed medical marijuana certification, you may begin the patient registration process with the NYS Medical Marijuana Program. Take note of the following application criteria:
- Patients must be at least 18 years of age in order to apply.
- Minor patients may designate a caregiver, such as one of their parents, to apply on their behalf.
- You must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition recognized by the state of New York (listed below).
- You must be a New York resident with proof of residency. This may come in the form of a state-issued driver’s license or a New York State ID Card.
- Along with their physician-issued medical recommendation and valid form of ID, all patients are required to pay a state application fee of $50. Thankfully, owing to the Compassionate Care Act, the fee is currently getting waived for new and returning patients alike.
- Out-of-state applicants are not eligible to receive a medical card in New York.
A Brief History of the NYS Medical Marijuana Program
In July 2014, the Compassionate Care Act legalized marijuana for medicinal use in New York, allowing for patients and caregivers alike to possess and acquire medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries state-wide. This marked the official creation of New York’s Medical Marijuana Program, allowing every patient to acquire medical cannabis treatment through their state-mandated medical marijuana card.
In November 2017, in order to celebrate Veteran’s Day, state Governor Andrew Cuomo added Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as an eligible condition for marijuana treatment. In that same year, the New York Department of Health also introduced chronic pain among its qualifying condition list, making 2017 a year of great progress for medical marijuana in New York.
Come 2019, New York was the most likely candidate to make history by legalizing recreational marijuana through sole legislative measures, rather than voter-approved motions. Although the state lawmakers were unable to come to a consensus, they did agree upon the expansion of a 1977 state law, decriminalizing cannabis in the process. The bill was signed by Governor Cuomo on July 29th, going into effect one month later.
On March 31st, 2021, New York became the 16th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, making it one of the hallmark states in 2021’s ongoing wave of US-wide marijuana legalization.
Following in the footsteps of Illinois and Vermont, New York is the third state to pass a marijuana legalization bill through Senate consensus.
Getting your Marijuana Recommendation
Getting a medical marijuana recommendation in New York is easier than you might think.
Simply schedule an online appointment with one of our NY-licensed medical marijuana doctors today by filling out our sign-up form – it only takes a few minutes!
Once you’ve done that, you and your chosen doctor will have a conversation about why medical marijuana may be beneficial for your treatment, and they will make a decision based on your specific medical condition.
Appointments usually take between 10 to 15 minutes and are all done via Doxy.
How to Qualify for the NYS Medical Marijuana Program
Physicians in New York can only recommend marijuana treatment to patients who are diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions for a medical card in NY:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injury (with spasticity)
- Pain that degrades health and functional capability as an alternative to opioid use or substance use disorder
The severe debilitating or life-threatening condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions:
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures (or severe/persistent muscle spasms)
- Opioid use disorder
New York Medical Marijuana Laws
While your patients status does have its benefits, you ought to be aware of the following legal penalties and regulations when undergoing your medical marijuana treatment:
- New York residents are allowed up to 3 ounces of cannabis flower for personal possession, as per state regulation. Exceptions are possible on a case-by-case scenario, based on your marijuana specialist’s medical recommendation.
- You may purchase your medical marijuana products ONLY from a state-approved dispensary. Personal sales are highly prohibited by the New York Department of Health and you should NOT engage with them in any way, shape, or form.
- Taking effect in 2022, residents will be given the right to grow up to 6 flowering cannabis plants at a given time (or 12 per household) – 3 mature-stage plants and 3 immature-stage plants. Until then, the current cultivation-related penalties and regulations remain in place. These are listed in their dedicated section below.
- If your treatment includes hashish-based products OR other products made from any type of cannabis concentrate, take note of the fact that the federal Schedule I Drug regulations are the same for marijuana concentrates as for marijuana flower. The legal possession limit for hash and concentrates is 24 grams.
- Possession and/or distribution of marijuana paraphernalia (such as bongs, tobacco blunts, rolling paper) is still a punishable violation in the state of NY, regardless of adult-use legalization.
You can find a comprehensive list of marijuana-related penalties and regulations on our dedicated New York Marijuana Laws page.
New York Medical Marijuana Card
Learn all you need to know about what it means to be a medical marijuana patient in New York.
Check out how to get a New York Medical Marijuana Card for extensive information on obtaining a med card, renewing it, as well as any other questions and curiosities you might have.
New York Dispensaries
New York’s various dispensary locations are spread out throughout the state’s borders. Albany, Brooklyn, and NYC itself, are counted among the state’s most dispensary-populated areas.
For a full account of the registered dispensaries in New York, check out the DOH’s official list of licensed marijuana establishments.