Updated on February 1, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Note from State, on sources for medical marijuana
The New York Medical Marijuana Program website lists ten (10) registered organizations, with one (1) manufacturing location and four (4) dispensing sites each.
“A certified patient may receive medical marijuana products from any dispensing facility of any Registered Organization in New York State,” Frequently Asked Questions [Accessed March 01, 2016]
The New York Patient Registry application is $50. The New York Marijuana Registry is mandatory and does NOT accept other state’s registry cards.
As of October 2017, facilities like nursing homes, hospitals and residencies can register as “caregivers” in the state of New York so that they can obtain medical marijuana for patients. Previously, medical marijuana could only be acquired by the certified patient or a designated caregiver, making it difficult for facility or home-bound patients to receive medical marijuana.
In December 2017, the New York State Department of Health issued changes to the medical marijuana program that added more products to the list of those registered organizations are allowed to manufacture and distribute. This includes but is not limited to topicals like ointments, lotions, and patches; solid and semi-solid products; chewable tablets; effervescent tablets; lozenges; and more.
In June 2018, it was announced that opioid use would be added to the list qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in the state of New York. In July, the New York Department of Health announced the filing of emergency regulations that would make any condition treated with an opioid a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.
On June 19, 2014, Assembly Bill 6357, was approved by the Assembly 117-3, and by the Senate 49-10 on June 20, 2014, and was signed into law by the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 05, 2014 (effective upon signature).
Assembly Bill 6357 effectively removes all state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana by patients in possession of a written letter from a physician stating that he or she may benefit from the medical use of marijuana for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments.
The New York Department of Health was given 18 months to establish regulations, and register dispensing organizations.
In order 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 certified physician with whom the patient has a bonafide doctor relationship.
In order to become a certified medical marijuana physician in New York, physicians are required to complete a four-hour New York State Department of Health (department-approved) course, as well as register directly with the Department as a course accredited physician, qualified to certify patients. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants (under the supervision of certified physicians) must be in good standing and practicing in the state of New York. Finally, certifying physician must be qualified to treat patients with the qualifying conditions.
The New York medical marijuana program explicitly prohibits the smoking of cannabis as a delivery method and prohibits patients from having access to any plant material.
On November 11, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill, permitting an expedited certification process for seriously ill patients and allowing marijuana producers to register “as expeditiously as practicable”.
On January 07, 2016, the New York medical marijuana program officially launches, with the opening of eight (of the expected twenty) dispensaries statewide.
On December 01, 2016, the New York State Department of Health added chronic pain to the list of debilitating conditions that qualify for medical marijuana, expanding patient access to medical marijuana in New York. Additionally, the Department filed regulatory amendments authorizing nurse practitioners to now certify patients for the New York Medical Marijuana Program.
Taking effect in September 2017, the Department of Health will now allow certified patients to use lotions, ointments, patches, lozenges, and certain chewables. The state program will continue to only allow non-smokable forms of medicinal cannabis.
New regulations introduced in August 2017 and going into effect December 27, 2017 will help make choosing medical marijuana products easier for patients. Patients will be able to walk into dispensaries and speak to an RO (registered organization) representative that will help patients get additional information about NY’s medical marijuana program and approved treatment methods. These ROs will be able to distribute and manufacture products like ointments, patches, lotions, solid/semi-solid products, chewables, effervescent tablets, lozenges, and other non-smokable forms of medical marijuana.
The legislature introduced in August 2017 also shortened the certification process for doctors looking to recommend medical marijuana, creating a two-hour online training program. It also changed regulations about advertising rights for organizations and how medical marijuana products are manufactured.
Further, as of October 2017, patients who are in facilities like nursing homes or hospitals can have their medical marijuana dispensed by the facility, rather than having to acquire their medical marijuana themselves.
The New York medical marijuana program limits the total amount of usable approved medical marijuana, that may be dispensed to a patient in measurable controlled doses, to NOT exceed a thirty (30) day supply.
New York medical marijuana regulation explicitly prohibits the smoking of cannabis as a delivery method, and prohibits patients from having access to any plant material — patients are NOT allowed to cultivate cannabis.
Qualified patients, in New York, may now choose to see a marijuana doctor online instead of in-person, using medical marijuana telemedicine services for the purpose of obtaining a New York medical marijuana evaluation:
The State of New York has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued New York Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per New York state guidelines.
Since the New York medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new New York medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the New York medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link to find out more about New York’s Medical Marijuana Program. We have compiled the following New York medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of New York’s laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in New York.
Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the department of health services and/or department of justice. For a comprehensive list of New York’s qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states.”