New York Medical Marijuana Program Information
To qualify for the New York Medical Marijuana Program, patients must be diagnosed with one of several severe and debilitating or life threatening conditions that are accompanied by an associated or complicating condition, and receive a written certification from a physician. Then apply for a New York Medical Marijuana Card.
Marijuana isn’t exactly legal in New York; you can’t consume it recreationally but there has been significant progress with respect to medical cannabis.
As mentioned above, the passing of Assembly Bill 6357 made things a lot easier.
The passing of the bill caused several things to happen. Criminal penalties, as ordained by state legislature, for possessing and using marijuana, no longer applied to people who had a written endorsement by a physician. The endorsement has to clearly state that the user stands to benefit by using marijuana to treat a medical condition that is debilitating.
The practitioner has to specify the following on the endorsement; the brand and form of medical cannabis that has been authorized, the approved method of administration and if there are any limitations. Interestingly, the dosage does not have to be specified.
Assembly Bill 6357 also contains laws that apply to the production, sale and subsequent usage. There are only five organizations that have been registered for cultivating, manufacturing and dispensing medical marijuana. The organizations have to pass through a rigorous vetting process conducted by the Commissioner of the Health Department.
Once the registered organization has been selected, it can establish a maximum of four dispensaries, subject to state regulation, for selling and dispensing medical marijuana.
The state of New York launched its medical marijuana program on January 7, 2016, with a total of eight dispensaries. The total amount of dispensed product has to be limited to a 30 day supply. The forms of medical marijuana that are permitted are capsules, inhalers, vape oil and liquids. Neither edibles nor smoking cannabis is permitted. Moreover, medical cannabis cannot be cultivated, according to NY state law.
Weed has been decriminalized in New York to a significant extent, i.e. a minor first offense will not land you in jail. The severity of the punishment will probably be commensurate with that for a minor traffic violation. However illegal possession can result in prosecution in New York.
However people with genuine medical conditions now have easier access to doctors for medical marijuana, which can enable them to acquire a medical marijuana card.
Common Questions in obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card
- What do I do after I receive a certification from my registered practitioner?
Once you possess a certification from a registered practitioner, you must register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department’s online Patient Registration System. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, including how to register on behalf of a minor or an individual who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment, by visiting: Information for Patients (https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/). The Website is the hyperlink I would like embedded next to the underlined purple word)
After your registration is approved, you will be issued a Temporary Registry Identification Card, which may be used in conjunction with a government issued photo identification card until you receive your registry identification card in the mail. Dispensing facility locations can be found by clicking here:
Registered Organizations (https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/application/selected_applicants.htm). The Website is the hyperlink I would like embedded next to the underlined purple word)
- May I register on behalf of a minor or person who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment?
Yes. If the applicant for a registry identification card is under the age of eighteen (18) or a person who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment, the application must be submitted by an appropriate person over twenty-one (21) years of age. The applicant must designate at least one, and up to two, caregivers who must be among the following: (i) a parent or legal guardian of the certified patient; (ii) a person designated by a parent or legal guardian; or (iii) an appropriate person approved by the Department upon a sufficient showing that no parent or legal guardian is available or appropriate. The designated caregiver must also register in order to receive a registry ID card of their own in order to purchase the medical marijuana on behalf of the patient. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, by visiting: Information for Patients. (https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/). The Website is the hyperlink I would like embedded next to the underlined purple word)
- How do I register with the program as a caregiver?
A patient who is registered with the program must first designate you as a caregiver during the patient registration process. After the patient’s registration has been approved by the Department, the caregiver(s) must register with the Department. The patient will have access to instructions for caregiver registration. To register with the Department as a designated caregiver, you must be a resident of New York State and have a valid New York State Driver’s License or New York State Non-Driver ID card. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, by visiting: Designated Caregiver Information (https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/caregiver/). The Website is the hyperlink I would like embedded next to the underlined purple word)
- Do I have to pay to register as a patient or as a caregiver?
There is a non-refundable application fee of fifty dollars ($50) that the Department is currently waiving for all patients and their designated caregivers.
- When can I expect my registry identification card to arrive?
After your registration is approved you will be issued a Temporary Registry Identification Card Registry Identification Card, which may be used in conjunction with a government issued photo identification until you receive your registry identification card in the mail. Please allow approximately seven business days to receive your Patient or Caregiver Registry ID Card. Dispensing facility locations can be found by clicking here: Registered Organizations https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/application/selected_applicants.htm. The Website is the hyperlink I would like embedded next to the underlined purple word)
- Can I still register if a practitioner will not provide a certification?
No, a patient may not register without a certification from a registered practitioner.