Medical Marijuana Card NY logo

New York State and Medical Marijuana

What is the Current Legal Status of Medical Marijuana in New York State?

As of 2023, medical marijuana is legal in New York State, regulated under the Compassionate Care Act (CCA) and overseen by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). The CCA, established in 2014, allowed the possession, use, delivery, and administration of medicinal marijuana by qualified patients and designated caregivers. The regulatory framework is managed by the New York Department of Health, with the OCM providing oversight.

The current legal status of medical marijuana in New York State has undergone significant changes, particularly with updates effective from March 20, 2023. Here are the key aspects of these changes:

  1. Elimination of the Medical Marijuana Card Requirement: As of March 20, 2023, patients certified for medical cannabis no longer require a physical registry ID card. Instead, the certification provided by the healthcare practitioner serves as sufficient authorization. This change simplifies the process, making it easier for patients to access medical cannabis.

  2. No Specific Qualifying Medical Conditions: Previously, New York State had a list of specific qualifying medical conditions for which medical marijuana could be prescribed. However, recent changes have removed this list. Now, it is up to the certifying healthcare provider to determine whether a patient’s condition warrants the use of medical marijuana. This gives healthcare providers more discretion in deciding who can benefit from medical cannabis.

  3. Role of Healthcare Providers: The eligibility for medical marijuana is now determined by registered healthcare providers. Providers who are registered and licensed to prescribe controlled substances in New York State, and have completed a mandatory state-approved training course, can certify patients for medical marijuana. This certification process involves the healthcare provider assessing the patient’s condition and determining if medical cannabis could be beneficial.

  4. Streamlined Certification Process: With the recent changes, the certification process has become more streamlined. Once a patient is certified by a healthcare provider, they are automatically enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program, without the need for a separate application process. The certification along with a government-issued photo ID is all that is required to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New York State.

  5. Continued Legalization and Regulation: The use of medical cannabis continues to be legal and regulated in New York State. The state maintains strict guidelines and regulations for the cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing of medical cannabis to ensure patient safety and product quality.

These changes reflect New York State’s ongoing efforts to make medical cannabis more accessible to patients who need it, while also ensuring proper regulation and safety standards are maintained. The shift towards a more flexible and patient-centric approach in the medical cannabis program is aimed at improving the therapeutic benefits for a wider range of patients.

Who Can Legally Prescribe Medical Marijuana in New York?

In New York State, the types of healthcare providers eligible to issue medical cannabis certifications are regulated and defined by the state’s medical marijuana laws. Eligible healthcare providers include:

  1. Physicians: Medical doctors who are registered and licensed by New York State to prescribe controlled substances.
  2. Physician Assistants: Registered and licensed physician assistants with the authority to prescribe controlled substances.
  3. Nurse Practitioners: Registered nurse practitioners with the capability to prescribe controlled substances.
  4. Podiatrists: Podiatrists who are registered and have the authority to prescribe controlled substances.
  5. Dentists: Licensed dentists with the ability to prescribe controlled substances.
  6. Midwives: Registered and licensed midwives who are authorized to prescribe controlled substances.

These healthcare providers must be registered with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and have completed the required training to be able to certify patients for medical cannabis use. It’s important to note that not all healthcare providers may choose to participate in the medical marijuana program, and some may opt in or out of being listed publicly as certifying practitioners.

How Has New York State Expanded Access to Medical Cannabis?

New York State has significantly expanded access to medical cannabis through the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), enacted in 2021. Key expansions brought by the MRTA include:

  1. Expanded Eligibility Criteria: Under the MRTA, the specific list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use was removed. This change grants healthcare providers greater discretion to determine if medical cannabis is appropriate for their patients’ conditions. Practitioners can now certify a patient for any condition that they believe can be treated with medical cannabis.

  2. Streamlined Certification and Registration Process: The new system simplifies the process for patient certification and registration. Healthcare providers who complete the required course can certify patients for medical cannabis, and these patients are automatically registered in the Medical Cannabis Program without needing a separate registry ID card.

  3. Home Cultivation: The MRTA includes provisions for the home cultivation of medical cannabis. Registered patients and designated caregivers can grow a limited number of marijuana plants for medical use under specific conditions.

  4. Focus on Social Equity: The MRTA aims to address the social and economic impacts of cannabis prohibition, especially on communities of color. It establishes a framework for social and economic equity in the cannabis industry.

  5. Enhanced Consumer Safety Standards: The Act also focuses on establishing quality assurance, product manufacturing standards, laboratory testing standards, and packaging and labeling requirements for cannabis products.

  6. Public Health Approach: The MRTA replaces the law enforcement approach to cannabis with a focus on public health, safety, and equitable economic development.

These changes signify a shift towards a more inclusive and health-focused approach to medical cannabis, aligning with broader goals of social justice and public safety.

Guidelines for Healthcare Providers in Certifying Patients for Medical Cannabis in New York

Course Requirements for Practitioners

Healthcare providers must meet specific requirements to certify patients for medical cannabis in New York:

  1. Eligibility: Eligible healthcare providers include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, podiatrists, dentists, and midwives who are registered and licensed to prescribe controlled substances in New York State.

  2. Mandatory Training: These providers must complete a state-approved training course on medical cannabis. The course covers various aspects, including the pharmacology of cannabis, effects on the body, potential therapeutic uses, and legal aspects of its prescription. Providers can choose from several courses, varying in duration (typically 2-4 hours) and cost.

  3. Course Completion Certificate: Upon completing the course, healthcare providers receive a course completion certificate, which is required for registering with the New York State Office of Cannabis Management’s (OCM) Medical Cannabis Program.

  4. Patient Certification Process: Once registered, healthcare providers can certify patients for medical cannabis through the Health Commerce System (HCS). They need to log into the HCS, access the Medical Cannabis Data Management System (MCDMS), and enter the necessary information for patient certification.

Access to Medical Marijuana for Minors in New York

Minors in New York State can access medical marijuana under specific conditions:

  1. Age Requirement: Patients under the age of 18 are eligible for medical marijuana certification.

  2. Designated Caregiver: Minors must access medical marijuana through a designated caregiver, who could be a parent, legal guardian, or a person authorized by the Office of Cannabis Management. This caregiver is responsible for handling the medical cannabis on behalf of the minor.

  3. Healthcare Provider Consultation: The minor’s caregiver must accompany them to a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider, who assesses whether the minor’s condition warrants a medical marijuana certification.

  4. Certification and Registration: If deemed eligible, the healthcare provider issues a medical marijuana certification for the minor. The caregiver then registers with the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, following the procedures required for adult patients.

  5. Accessing Medical Marijuana: Once registered, the designated caregiver can obtain medical cannabis on behalf of the minor from licensed dispensaries in New York, using the minor’s medical cannabis certification.

These guidelines ensure that minors with qualifying conditions can safely and legally access medical cannabis under the supervision of their caregivers and healthcare providers.

Provisions for Home Cultivation of Medical Marijuana in New York

New York State allows certified medical cannabis patients and designated caregivers to cultivate cannabis at home under specific regulations:

  1. Age Requirements: Only certified patients who are 21 years old or older can cultivate cannabis at home. Similarly, designated caregivers must also be 21 years old or older, and they are allowed to cultivate cannabis only for certified patients who are either under 21 or physically unable to cultivate cannabis themselves.

  2. Limits on Plant Cultivation: Certified patients are permitted to grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants at any one time. For designated caregivers, the limit is up to six mature plants and six immature plants at any one time, provided no patient can have more than one caregiver growing on their behalf. If a caregiver has more than one medical patient, they may grow one additional plant for each patient beyond the first six.

  3. Cultivation Location: Cannabis must be cultivated at the authorized person’s private residence.

  4. Storage and Security: Cannabis must be stored in a secure location within a private residence or its grounds. It should not be readily accessible to anyone under the age of 21. Cultivation should be conducted in an enclosed area not visible from public view, and reasonable steps should be taken to secure the cannabis and mitigate its odor.

  5. Restrictions on Sale and Transfer: Home cultivated cannabis cannot be sold or bartered. However, certified patients or designated caregivers can transfer, without compensation, up to three ounces of cannabis and up to 24 ounces of concentrated cannabis to another certified patient or designated caregiver.

  6. Reimbursement for Caregivers: Designated caregivers can only receive reimbursement for actual costs of goods, materials, or utilities incurred directly related to the cultivation of cannabis for the certified patient.

These regulations are part of New York’s efforts to provide safe and regulated access to medical cannabis for certified patients and to ensure public health and safety.

Obtaining Medical Marijuana Certification Online in New York

New Yorkers can obtain medical marijuana certification online through the following process:

  1. Consultation with a Registered Healthcare Provider: Patients must set up an appointment with a healthcare provider who is registered, licensed, and certified to prescribe controlled substances in New York. This includes physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, dentists, podiatrists, and midwives who have taken a minimum two-hour course offered by OCM-accredited providers.

  2. Telemedicine Platforms: The certification process can be completed via telemedicine platforms. Patients can find a list of New York-certified healthcare providers qualified to recommend medical cannabis, including telemedicine providers, on the New York State Department of Health website.

  3. Certification and Registration: Once certified by the healthcare provider, patients are automatically enrolled in the New York medical marijuana program and set up with Registry IDs in the Medical Cannabis Data Management System (MCDMS). There is no separate application process.

  4. Accessing Medical Cannabis: After obtaining certification, patients can print out their patient certification, which includes their Registry ID. This document, along with a government-issued photo ID, can be presented at medical cannabis dispensaries to purchase medical marijuana.

This online certification process provides a convenient and accessible way for eligible patients in New York to obtain medical marijuana certifications without the need for in-person visits.

Cost of Online Medical Marijuana Certification in New York

The cost for obtaining a medical marijuana certification in New York typically ranges between $150 and $300 for the consultation with a healthcare provider. This fee varies depending on the provider and the service they offer. It’s important to note that while the state does not charge for the healthcare certifications themselves, the consultation charges still apply when visiting healthcare providers to obtain these certifications. Medical Marijuana Card NY  only charge $149 and provide medical marijuana Certification in New York online.

Renewing Medical Marijuana Certification Online

The process for renewing a medical marijuana certification online in New York involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation with a Healthcare Provider: You need to schedule an online consultation with a New York-licensed physician. This can be done through telemedicine platforms like Medical Marijuana Card NY.

  2. Provider’s Approval and Certification: Once approved by the healthcare provider, they will enter your details into the New York State website and upload a copy of the certification. This process automatically registers you with the State Medical Cannabis Program.

  3. Access to Medical Cannabis: After the approval and registration, you can legally purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries by presenting your certification and a government-issued ID.

For patients who were approved before March 20, 2023, a re-registration with the state may be necessary. The process for renewal is similar to the initial registration, ensuring a seamless continuation of access to medical cannabis.

FAQs about New York State and Medical Marijuana

1. Who is eligible for medical marijuana in New York?

Eligibility for medical marijuana in New York is determined by a registered healthcare provider. There is no longer a specific list of qualifying medical conditions; instead, healthcare providers use their discretion to determine if a patient’s condition may benefit from medical marijuana.

2. How do you get a medical marijuana certification in New York?

Patients must consult with a registered healthcare provider, who can certify them for medical marijuana if deemed appropriate. The certification process can often be completed via telemedicine platforms.

3. Is a physical medical marijuana card required in New York?

As of March 20, 2023, physical medical marijuana cards are no longer required. The certification from a healthcare provider, along with a government-issued photo ID, is sufficient to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries.

4. Can minors access medical marijuana in New York?

Yes, minors can access medical marijuana but must do so through a designated caregiver. The caregiver must be approved by the Office of Cannabis Management and accompany the minor to their healthcare provider appointment.

5. What are the costs associated with medical marijuana certification in New York?

While there is no state fee for medical marijuana certification, healthcare providers may charge for the consultation. These fees typically range between $150 and $300.

6. Can patients grow medical marijuana at home in New York?

Yes, certified patients and designated caregivers can cultivate a limited number of cannabis plants at home. They can grow up to three mature and three immature plants for personal use.

7. What forms of medical marijuana are available in New York?

Medical marijuana in New York is available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, tinctures, oral sprays, powders, lozenges, and ground plant preparations for vaporization. Recently, whole flower cannabis for vaporization was also approved.

8. Can out-of-state medical marijuana cards be used in New York dispensaries?

No, New York dispensaries only serve patients with a current New York medical marijuana certification. However, any person aged 21 or over can purchase marijuana for recreational use in the state.

9. How often do medical marijuana certifications need to be renewed in New York?

Medical marijuana certifications usually expire one year from the date the doctor signs them, though practitioners may specify an earlier expiration date. Patients need to obtain a new patient certification from their practitioner after expiration.

10. What should patients do if they need to renew their medical marijuana certification?

Patients should contact their healthcare provider to extend the expiration of their current certification. The renewal process is similar to the initial registration, ensuring continuous access to medical cannabis.

Note: This article’s content is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional legal or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or queries regarding laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult a lawyer, physician, or other licensed practitioner.

Connect With MMJ Doctor Now