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NY Marijuana Qualification

Updated on March 25, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

What Ailments Qualify For Medical Marijuana in New York

Patients in New York diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under New York’s medical marijuana law, as per Assembly Bill 6357:

Patients also suffering from a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition or any of the following conditions where it is clinically associated with a complication of a condition under this paragraph or its treatment:

New York Medical Marijuana Program: Information

  1. Patients must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. If the patient is under the age of eighteen (18) an Approved Caregiver must be designated and register on behalf of the patient.
  2. Patients must be residents of New York State and provide proof by providing a copy of a New York State Driver’s License or State Issued identification Card with current address. Click here for additional information on required documentation.
  3. Patient’s must be evaluated by a certified practitioner. Find a Certified Physician In NY Today!
  4. Patients must be diagnosed with one or more of the Qualifying Conditions listed above.
  5. Patients must create a My.NY.Gov Account. Please select Medical Marijuana Data Management System.
  6. Patients must then submit their application through the NYS Patient Registry online.
    • The Application Fee is $50.00 for all patients and designated caregivers.
    • Patients can designate up to two (2) caregivers.
  7. If the application is approved, the state will issue a temporary Registry Identification Card through their My.NY.gov account, with your state issued identification to purchase approved Medical Marijuana products. Medical Marijuana Identification Cards will be mailed to the address listed on the Application.

Recent Legislation Update

Effective March 22, 2017 Chronic Pain has been approved by Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker – any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability, that has intolerable side effects, that has lasted for or is expected to last for at least three months, and other modes of therapy that has failed to treat or that cannot be treated by another therapy because it would be harmful.”

Effective March 22, 2017 Chronic Pain has been approved by Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker – any severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability, that has intolerable side effects, that has lasted for or is expected to last for at least three months, and other modes of therapy that has failed to treat or that cannot be treated by another therapy because it would be harmful.”

Effective June 2018, a regulatory amendment issued by the NY State Department of Health added Opioid use as a qualifying condition. In July 2018, this was expanded and any condition for which an Opioid could be prescribed now qualifies for medical marijuana due to emergency regulations issues by the NY State Department of Health.

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How to Become A Medical Marijuana Patient in New York

  1. Patients must be a valid citizen residing in the State of New York and can readily provide an authentic form of New York State identification as a proof of residency. If in the event that a patient does not have a valid New York I.D. card, there is the potential that the state will accept a U.S. passport or another form of photo identification that features the patient’s proof of residency on it. Examples of possible forms of identification may include a bank statement or even a utility bill.
  2. Patients are required to obtain medical records or legitimate health documentation that outlines a specific medical diagnosis. A patient’s health records are an extremely important component of this process and should be transferred over to the recommending doctor’s office prior to a patient’s first visit. If in the event a patient wishes to learn how to request medical documentation, they can check out our detailed step-by-step process  — *Learn how to request your medical records
  3. Patients must also obtain a written certification from a certified healthcare practitioner that is licensed to practice and recommend medical marijuana in the State of New York. Patients must also take into consideration that establishing a long-standing and bona fide relationship with the recommending physician is an essential factor in determining if alternative medicine is the right treatment option — *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in New York
  4. Please note that in order for a patient to become fully approved into the state’s medical marijuana program, an application for a New York medical marijuana card must be filled out and submitted to the appropriate state authority. This is the final process before the actual obtaining of the card. Once a patient has received their New York medical marijuana card or temporary authorization, they are then able to find a legitimate safe-access source.

After receiving a medical marijuana recommendation, patients have to register with the DOH. Patients can designate up to two caregivers, who must also register with the DOH. Medical marijuana registrations expire when the recommendation expires.

Medical Marijuana Access in New York

Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

Unlike other medical marijuana states, New York medical marijuana law does not allow for the cultivation of medical cannabis.  Patients may only purchase a limited amount, no more than a 30-day supply, of medical marijuana at one of the following state-monitored cannabis dispensaries: Bloomfield Industries IncColumbia Care NY LLCEtain, LLCPharmaCann LLCVireo Health of New York LLC (formerly Empire State Health Solutions).

In August 2017, the NY state medical marijuana program was expanded to license five new companies to grow and distribute medical marijuana. It also introduced new legislation that would make it easier for medical marijuana patients to get more information about products by allowing them to consult with representatives from registered organizations (ROs) about available non-smokable products. This legislation,k  which would also increase the amount of non-smokable products these organizations were allowed to distribute and manufacture, was passed and will go into effect December 2017.

In October 2017, the state of NY made it possible for facilities like hospitals and nursing homes to register as “caregivers” in order to increase patients’ access to medical marijuana. The current legislation made it nearly impossible for facility-bound patients without caregivers to pick up their medical marijuana without a delivery service. Now the facilities can ensure that patients with debilitating illnesses have access to the treatments they need.

Refer back to Marijuana Doctors to keep track of updates to the medical marijuana program.

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