Updated on December 14, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya.
To access medical marijuana in NY, patients must register with the New York State (NYS) Medical Marijuana Program after getting certified by a medical marijuana doctor. As proof of a patient’s registration in the program, the NYS medical marijuana program issues a medical marijuana card. Patients use this card to make cannabis purchases from dispensaries.
This page highlights the essential information patients should know about the NYS medical marijuana program. After going over the content of this page, you should be well-informed about what the NYS MMP requires from patients. Additionally, the information below aims will help your NY medical card application go smoothly. When you are ready, book an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor in NY near you and get certified to begin your NY medical marijuana card application.
How to get medical marijuana in NY
To get medical marijuana in NY, you need to apply for an NYS medical card. Before you can start your application, however, you must first get a recommendation for medical marijuana treatment from a licensed cannabis physician. Getting a medical marijuana recommendation in New York is easier than you might think. Simply schedule an online appointment with one of our NY medical marijuana doctors today by filling out our sign-up form – it only takes a few minutes!
Next, choose a time for your video consultation that is convenient for you. 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.
Important: The doctor can only recommend medicinal cannabis to patients diagnosed with certain medical conditions as determined by the NYS Medical Marijuana Program. Usually, the doctor will consider cannabis treatment if you’re suffering from either:
- A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence.
- A chronic medical condition that causes severe, debilitating psychiatric disorders.
Go here to see the full list of qualifying conditions for a medical card in NY.
How to Register with the 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 at health.ny.gov/mmp.
Before you begin please read the following NYS Medical Marijuana Program application criteria:
- Adult patients must be at least 18 years old in order to apply.
- Patients under 18 years old must have a designated and registered caregiver applying on their behalf.
- All applicants must be New York residents.
- Patients must be diagnosed with a medical condition recognized by the NYS Medical Marijuana Program
- Additionally, patients must have a recommendation from a Certified-To-Recommend cannabis doctor in NY verifying their diagnosis.
- At the moment the application processing fee is currently waived for new and returning patients alike thanks to the Compassionate Care Act.
* Please note: Out-of-state applicants are not eligible to receive a medical card in New York.
Which documents are needed to complete registration with the NYS Medical Marijuana Program?
During your application with the NYS Medical Marijuana Program, you will need to submit the following:
- Proof of identity. For instance:
- NY driver’s license
- NY state identification
- U.S. Passport
- NY motor vehicle registration.
Patients do not need to upload a copy of their state identification. They only need to enter the nine (9) digit number in the NYS DMV field provided on the registration screen.
- Proof of New York residency. For example:
- NY driver’s license
- NY state identification
- Recent utility bill
- NY motor vehicle registration
- A signed certification from an NYS registered practitioner licensed to recommend cannabis treatment.
- Parental or legal guardian consent form for minor patients.
- Birth certificate for patients under 18 years of age.
- A recent photo of the patient with their head and shoulders and against a plain background. (For those without photo ID.)
How to Submit Your NYS Medical Marijuana Program Application
Once you’ve made sure you have all your documents ready here’s how to begin the application process itself:
- First, you must book an appointment with a NY licensed cannabis doctor, then attend the online consultation to get a recommendation for medical marijuana treatment.
- Next, you must register as a patient with the NYS Medical Marijuana Program. You can do this by logging in or creating an account at https://my.ny.gov/. Patients who don’t have an NY.gov account should click the “Don’t have an Account?” button to create a personal NY.gov ID first. Then, simply select the “Health Applications” icon, and then click the “Medical Marijuana Data Management System” link to register.
- When registering, you may designate up to two caregivers during the registration process. After the patient’s registration is processed, the designated caregiver(s) must then register with the Department using the same online system described.
- Once a patient or caregiver’s registration is approved, the Department will issue a temporary registry identification card through the My.NY.gov account. This may be used in conjunction with government-issued photo identification to buy approved medical marijuana products as the patient/caregiver awaits his/her registry identification card (ID card) in the mail.
* For step-by-step instructions on how to register as a patient or caregiver, select the “HELP” link within the Medical Marijuana Data Management System.
*Under the Compassionate Care Act, there is normally a $50 application fee. However, the Department is currently waiving the $50 fee for all patients and their designated caregivers.
Please note: registrations expire when the certification that was issued by the practitioner expires. So, patients and caregivers must re-register each time a new certification number is issued.
Contact the NYS Medical Marijuana Program
State Jurisdiction: New York State Department of Health
Where can you get medical marijuana in NY?
You can buy medical cannabis products from a dispensary in New York State if you are a certified patient or caregiver registered with the NYS Medical Marijuana Program. You must bring your medical marijuana card (registry ID) and your certification to the dispensary when buying medical cannabis products. Caregivers who are purchasing medical marijuana on behalf of their patients must bring their caregiver registry ID cards and their patients’ certifications to the dispensing facility. Additionally, NYS medical marijuana patients can enjoy the convenience of home delivery services provided by some registered marijuana dispensaries in NY.
There are 38 operational medical marijuana dispensaries in New York where patients can buy medical marijuana. Ten dispensary organizations have set up four locations each around the state. Be. and FP Wellness are yet to open their fourth dispensary location. New York and Kings counties lead in terms of dispensary numbers with four each. Suffolk, Queens, Nassau, Onondaga, and Erie counties follow with three medical marijuana dispensaries each. 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.
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.
When did the NYS Medical Marijuana Program start?
In July 2014, New York legalized marijuana for medicinal use through the Compassionate Care Act. As a result, patients and caregivers alike could possess and acquire medical marijuana products from licensed dispensaries state-wide. Additionally, the Act created the NYS medical marijuana program, a branch of the Department of Health responsible for issuing medical marijuana cards to qualifying patients.
In November 2017, 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 added chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions for a medical card in NY, 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.
Common Questions about New York and Medical Marijuana:
Below you’ll find answers to some common questions patients have about New York and medical marijuana.