Updated on May 3, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
New York carefully regulates the amount of CBD in every dispensary’s medication. Program regulations require each provider to note the exact cannabinoid levels in their medicines, and a dispensary must create “brands” that designate specific formulas. Every provider must sell at least one brand high in CBD and one with equal amounts of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While many CBD medications fall under medical marijuana program regulations, federal laws open up some exceptions. The Farm Bill legalizes hemp in certain cases, and hemp has high levels of CBD. Many unregistered patients safely buy CBD items by referring to this act. Retail CBD products with very low THC levels often get a pass in New York.
Hemp is a species of cannabis, like marijuana, but does not produce as much THC, the compound that creates the marijuana ‘high.”
New York State laws mostly leave the addition of CBD to food and drink unresolved. The state Agriculture and Markets Department issued an advisory that declared CBD in foods and beverages to be illegal. But enforcement of that directive has been uneven.
A Federal Drug Administration advisory issued in Novemberalso failed to completely resolve the question of CBD in food and drink.
There had been a provision in the bill approved by the state Legislature in June that would have allowed beverages to contain up to 20 miligrams of CBD. But neither the initial bill nor the amended version allow for CBD in food, including popular items like gummi candy.
The marijuana component cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t cause a high and provides numerous health benefits. It has slightly different properties than the whole cannabis plant. Because of these differences, CBD products sometimes undergo separate regulations from medical marijuana. New York implements some forms of CBD into its medicinal cannabis program, but it also leaves some room for ambiguity.
However, we recommend joining the state’s medicinal cannabis program if you can. Each New York marijuana dispensary sells precisely dosed medication and offers assistance to patients.
You can join New York’s medicinal marijuana program if you have an ailment such as:
These are only a few of the qualifying conditions. Read our guide to New York program qualification to learn about the full list.
Follow these steps to join the medical marijuana registry:
Hemp-based CBD has more relaxed rules than medical marijuana in New York. But, you should carefully consider which medicine to buy. Consult a cannabis-certified doctor to see which option will work best for you.