About Medical Marijuana New York
The Big Apple and the rest of the Empire State took its first bite of medical cannabis in 2014 when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law. Ever since, Gov. Cuomo has gone above and beyond attempting to legalize cannabis recreationally, even having a Pot Summit in 2019 with other East Coast governors.
In 2018, Gov. Cuomo added PTSD to the list of conditions, and in 2018, allowed medical cannabis to be used for opioid use disorder. As far as Gov. Cuomo is concerned, recreational cannabis would answer a lot of woes along with benefiting the physical wellbeing of thousands of citizens who suffer from a list of the state’s qualifying conditions. The second benefit recreational cannabis would bring in is up to 1.3 billion dollars in tax revenue, a number Cuomo predicted for 2019 to no avail.
On May 3, 2019, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released guidelines for laboratory testing on packaged medical cannabis products. The products to be tested include capsules, pills, oral sprays, powders, tinctures, topical lotions, vape cartridges, cannabis flower and more. These products are tested for cannabinoid potency, product stability, bacteria, mycotoxins, and containments through labs accredited through New York. This is big news because testing confirms the safety of medical cannabis products for patients.
In September of 2020, New York released guidance for medical cannabis program research that is being done in the state, which now can occur with Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. This applied to both privately funded and federally funded cannabis research.
In March of 2021, Gov. Cuomo signed the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act into law, though recreational sales are at least a year out. The law allows people over the age of 21 to possess, obtain, purchase or transport up to three ounces of cannabis. It will apply a 13% tax on retail sales that won’t take effect until April 1, 2023.
New York state has more than a dozen qualifying conditions that make residents eligible for the statewide medical cannabis program including:
The severe, debilitating or life-threatening condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions:
Along with a qualifying condition, a patient must prove they are a New York resident with a valid driver’s license or state identification card. Though New York state charges a $50 annual card registration fee, as of September 2020, the state reports it is waiving all fees for the time being. After approval by the state, the patient will receive a temporary registration card while the state prepares and sends them a medical cannabis state card.
Becoming a Medical Marijuana Patient in NY
To become a medical marijuana patient in New York, there are three basic steps. First, you will book an appointment with a doctor from NY who will review your ailment(s) and medical condition(s). Second, once you are evaluated and approved, you will receive a medical cannabis recommendation from our licensed NY marijuana doctor and be registered with the NY DOH. The third and final step is once you receive your medical cannabis recommendation, you can request your NY medical marijuana card online from the New York DOH. It will arrive in a week and you can then begin to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries in NY.
Registering a Caregiver in New York
A caregiver must also prove they are a resident of New York with a valid driver’s license or state identification card in order to be certified. Additionally, the caregiver must be listed on the patient’s application in order to be approved. Like the patient, a caregiver can possess a certain amount of medical cannabis at a time on behalf of the patient, who they have pledged to the state to assist.
When a certified patient applies for their ID card from the state, he or she may designate up to two caregivers that will assist the patient in obtaining and administering medical marijuana. To become a caregiver, the individual:
- Must be at least 21 years old, unless special permission is obtained from the NYSDOH;
- Must be a resident of New York State and have a valid New York State issued driver’s license or a New York State identification card;
- Must be someone other than the patent’s certifying physician.
After the patient’s application is approved, each caregiver must register with the DOH to receive a registry ID card that the caregiver can then use to obtain medical marijuana on the patient’s behalf. Caregivers can follow the same registration instructions that are available for patients, which may be found here: http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/
Like the patient, each caregiver must pay the $50 application fee unless he or she can demonstrate financial hardship which will waive that fee. As of September 2020, New York is waiving the application fees for the time being as part of the Compassionate Care Act.
Renewal of the Registry ID Card
The duration of the caregiver’s registry ID card is based on the duration of the patient’s certification. Accordingly, a caregiver’s registry card will expire at the same time as the patient’s card. After the patient obtains a new certification from the physician and renews his or her registry card, the caregiver can apply for a renewal of his or her card.
Regulations permit a designated caregiver to obtain payment from the patient for the following two expenses only:
(i) The actual amount charged by the dispensary for the approved medical marijuana product purchased for the patient; and
(ii) Reasonable costs incurred in the transportation and delivery of medical marijuana product to the patient.
Each designated caregiver must also comply with the following requirements:
- Must obtain a registry ID card for each certified patient;
- Must provide care to no more than five certified patients;
- Must not possess at any one time a cumulative quantity of medical cannabis that exceeds the amount allowed for each certified patient;
- Must not possess any form of medical marijuana other than those forms recommended specifically for the use of certified patients;
- Must not knowingly share, sell, trade or otherwise deliver medical cannabis to anyone who is not a registered patient;
- Must abide by the same reporting requirements as described above for patients, including the obligation to return registry ID cards issued in connection with those patients who no longer have an eligible condition.
Possession/Use Limits and Cultivation
Patients and caregivers are qualified to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis in various forms at home or in public. You can smoke cannabis in the same places you are able to smoke cigarettes except:
- While inside your car or in designated smoking public spaces of foodservice establishments
- Cigar bars
- Federal property
- Places where smoking in prohibited under the Clean Indoor Air Act
Certified medical marijuana patients are unable to grow cannabis at home until the state issues regulations for it later this year. People over 21 who are not medical card holders will be unable to grow cannabis until late 2023 at the latest. When people can grow, they will be allowed a total of 6 cannabis plants including 3 immature plants and 3 mature plants. They will also be able to have up to 5 pounds of cannabis in their home legally but will still only be able to have 3 ounces outside of their homes.
More Info About New York
New York is one of the largest U.S. states on the East Coast in terms of actual area as well as the number of residents who reside in the state. NY is in the northeastern region of the United States and its capital is Albany.
While New York is home to many medical marijuana products and dispensaries, there are also many tourist attractions in New York. Many tourists like to visit Times Square and Central Park. New York is the home of the Statue of Liberty, a key symbol of the United States’ beliefs in freedom, equality, democracy, and opportunity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Veriheal provides the physician for you! The most difficult part of the process has always been finding a registered physician who prescribes medical cannabis, but now we make that much easier by allowing you not only access to physicians, but you can meet with them online via video chat and get approved then and there.
No. You can only get approved for medical marijuana from a practitioner that has registered with the New York Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, and we provide that for you.
Yes! New York now allows people with chronic pain to be approved for medical marijuana use.
It’s a simple two-step process. First, you will meet with a doctor from the comfort of your own home, through video. After being evaluated, which usually takes 10 to 15 minutes, your physician will let you know if you will be approved for medical cannabis, and if so, you will receive your official recommendation and approval for medical marijuana usage in NY. If for some reason you are not approved via video, your consultation is free.
1) A valid government-issued ID that states your name a New York address (like a driver’s license or New York I Card)
2) A copy of a current utility bill from the past two months that shows your current address
3) A copy of a current government document (incoming mail) from the past two months that shows your current address
4) A copy of a current lease or residential document showing that you live at your current address
Once you are approved and receive your medical marijuana certification, you will need to simply register with the state of New York’s Medical Marijuana Program through the Patient Registration System.
You can create an account here: https://my.ny.gov/
Click the “Don’t Have An Account” button to create an account. Once created click on the “Heal Applications” icon and then “Medical Marijuana Data Management System” to register.
Once you are approved by the state of New York, your ID card will be mailed directly to you and arrive in a week.
The cost is $199 and that covers your medical evaluation, your consultation with a licensed NY practitioner registered with the DOH, and an authorized certification for medical marijuana purchases. For $379 you and a friend or family member can both get your cards for a nice little discount.
Once you have received your recommendation, you can simply get to the dispensary of your choice and they will assist you in applying. You can call them before you arrive to see exactly what to bring.
There are 10 Registered Organizations (ROs) that are approved to sell cannabis in New York. Each RO has up to 4 dispensary locations where you can purchase medical marijuana. You can see a list of New York dispensaries here.
You can contact each RO to see what types of products they have available. They can include vape cartridges, tablets, oral sprays, capsules, and oral powder. Smoking medical cannabis or purchasing edibles is not allowed, but that may change after New York legalized cannabis in March 2021.
You will need your 1-year certification from the doctor (US) and your NY Medical Marijuana Card.
Yes, if the reason why you are hospitalized is related to a qualifying medical cannabis condition that you have a New York medical cannabis card for. It is important to discuss this with the hospital you are/will be in as they have their own policies regarding cannabis.
No. There are currently no changes to the medical cannabis program in New York State except for the ability to possess three ounces of cannabis instead of two ounces. Any changes relating to product availability and the ability to grow your own cannabis have not currently changed and may take effect closer towards when recreational cannabis is available for purchase.