Until 2017, the process for getting a medical marijuana license in New York was difficult, time-consuming and expensive. Today, it’s a lot easier to apply and access if you qualify for medical marijuana use. So how exactly do you go about doing that?
If you’re a candidate, New York medical marijuana laws aren’t too difficult to navigate. In this guide, we’ll explain all the ins and outs. After reading through this, you’ll be well on your way to getting the treatment you need.
Federal Marijuana Laws
Cannabis, in all forms, is still considered a Schedule I drug. It’s illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
However, 29 states, including New York, now have medical cannabis laws. These laws make marijuana legal for adult medicinal use. And that number is likely to grow as more organizations and doctors get on board.
The process for application was difficult until 2017. In that year, a company from California began using Senate Bill 2405 to consult, assess, diagnose, educate, and treat medical marijuana patients online and through telehealth.
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As a result, potential medical marijuana patients can receive a recommendation from a qualified physician in as little as 30 minutes.
How To Apply Medical Marijuana in New York
The first step if you’re applying for medical marijuana is to get a copy of your medical records from your regular physician. This will speed up the process of your recommendation.
If you’re a qualifying candidate, the physician will provide you with a certification. However, this isn’t enough to buy medical marijuana from a dispensary.
After receiving your certification you have to register yourself as a patient with the Medical Marijuana Program. You can do this online through the Patient Registration System.
It’s possible to have your doctor complete the registration for you. Or, you can log on to my.ny.gov and register yourself. Approval generally takes up to 10 business days.
When you receive your medical marijuana card, you’re able to buy your treatment from a legal dispensary.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana in NY
There are over 20 legal dispensaries in the state of New York. Some of the bigger ones include:
It’s important to note that legal dispensaries don’t sell the marijuana for smoking. This is still considered illegal in New York state.
You can purchase capsules, oil, tinctures, topical ointment, and transdermal patches.
How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost?
There are a few costs involved in getting your medical marijuana license.
The medical marijuana card itself costs $50. This application fee is non-refundable.
Your consultation with a physician will also carry a cost. Typically, consultation with consenting physicians can cost between $99 and $299.
Prices for the various forms of medical marijuana from a legal dispensary will vary depending on the dispensary, what you’re purchasing, and the variances of CBD and THC in the product.
However, the prices for New York medical marijuana are typically higher than typical street value. Unregulated products cost less on the black market than they do in a legal dispensary.
Can You Open Your Own Dispensary?
The dispensary business is strictly regulated in New York. Only 5 of the 43 companies that applied for certification back in 2014 were granted permission to operate.
All applicants had to pay a $10,000 application fee on top of a $200,000 deposit for consideration. They already had to have a location to dispense from, a business plan and staff before applying.
The chances of opening your own dispensary are slim. The five companies that currently operated in New York state are protective of their businesses. So much so that they sued when New York state attempted to register an additional five companies for operation.
More on Medical Marijuana
New York medical marijuana helps treat people with severe, debilitating, and life-threatening conditions that can’t find the help they desire from other treatments. More and more states are recognizing the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for these individuals.
Anthony is the Marketing Director of Veriheal with a keen sense for sustainable branding techniques and creative marketing solutions meant for the cannabis space. He is inspired by art and human culture and occasionally gives us a sneak peek into what is happening behind the scenes at Veriheal.
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