Safety And Responsible Use Of Medical Marijuana In New York

Publish on July 15, 2022

Updated on October 1st, 2022 at 07:01 pm

cannabis law in new york

With the laws around marijuana usage becoming more flexible in New York, more people are using marijuana products. Also, with more research on the medical relevance of cannabis, medical marijuana has been discovered to be helpful in treating a number of illnesses. With these increased advantages of marijuana and more people finding it useful, there is a chance of abusing or misusing it.

Using medical marijuana safely and responsibly becomes necessary to ensure you do not harm yourself and others around you. There are laws regulating the use of medical marijuana to ensure people use it in stipulated ways to get the advantage of it without jeopardizing their health. If you were considering using medical marijuana, you may be concerned as to how to use it responsibly and safely. 

But how do you go about this? Here, we will talk about what a safe and responsible use of medical marijuana is and specific information on appropriately using and administering it.


What Is A Safe And Responsible Use Of Medical Marijuana In New York?

More people in New York are using medical marijuana for their health conditions. And, like most other good things, it can be misused and abused. There is the tendency for people to consume too much of it or use it in ways that may not be so beneficial to them and the society.

A responsible and safe use of medical marijuana entails consuming it in ways that it does not cause harm to the consumer. If you are using medical marijuana for your medical illnesses, it is safe to adhere to prescribed dosage, potency, and frequency of use. Also, it is advisable to keep it away from the reach of people who are not supposed to use it, like kids and people not diagnosed with the same qualifying illness. 

An important aspect of consuming medical marijuana safely and responsibly is obtaining medical marijuana cards that authorize you to use it. The process of getting a medical marijuana card is easy. You will consult with a doctor who examines you and certifies you fit for medical marijuana as a treatment method. Then, you will be issued your certificate which you can use to buy medical marijuana at dispensaries.

Also,  a responsible way of using medical marijuana  includes consuming the right quantity and not less than.  if a doctor prescribes medical marijuana as part of your treatment  and has specified the quantity and quality to use,  using a product that is less than that will not give you the desired result. In order to keep your health safe, it is most advisable to adhere to your prescriptions.


Information On How To Safely And Responsibly Use Medical Marijuana

There are some key areas that are necessary to take into consideration when taking medical marijuana to ensure you use it safely and responsibly.  Some of  these essential areas of consideration are:

Owning And Planting Medical Marijuana

Much of the abuse and misuse of medical marijuana comes with owning or planting more than the authorized quantity. In New York, patients have access to immature plants and seeds of cannabis to cultivate. This gives them consistent access to the amount of medical cannabis they need.

From October 5, 2022, patients and caregivers who have been certified to use and administer medical marijuana can grow the plant for patients’ personal use. These patients and caregivers must be up to twenty-one years to be able to grow cannabis for medical use. Also, they need to be living in New York and registered with the Medical Cannabis Program. 

There are laws guiding the quantity of medical cannabis that an individual can grow at a time. Certified patients are allowed to grow, uproot, and dry up to 3 mature and 3 immature cannabis plants. Designated caregivers, on the other hand, who have up to two patients under their care are allowed to grow, uproot, and dry 6 mature and 6 immature plants. 

This is the maximum number of plants that can be cultivated and harvested in a house at a time. Therefore, even if there are more than two patients under a caregiver’s care, they can only adhere to having up to 6 mature and 6 immature cannabis plants at a time. 

In New York, you can cultivate medical cannabis only in your private home. People with private residences like those with an apartment, a room, a mobile house, and a co-op can grow the stipulated quantity of cannabis. However, people living in assisted housing, or other public places cannot plant Cannabis on the ground of the property. 

Also, it is not allowed to grow cannabis on the grounds of public housing provided by the government. Losing public housing support is the penalty for faltering in keeping this law.

When the plant is trimmed, a caregiver or a patient can only have up to five pounds of cannabis on or still planted in the ground of their property.


While you are free to use medical marijuana if you have been certified to use it, you have to be conscious of the dosage you consume as it can constitute misuse and abuse if you overuse it,  and even underuse it. The doctor who certifies the patient to use medical marijuana may include all the regulations involved in the usage. Although dosages are not a requirement, the doctor will include all instructions necessary to help the patient get the best from the medications.

Some people feel tired, distracted,  and lose consciousness of mind when they use a certain dosage of medical marijuana.  This is why it is essential to stick to the recommended dosage by your medical doctor if they have indicated the quantity in the certification. 


Patients who use medical marijuana in New York are allowed to store medical marijuana for their usage. There are many organizations registered and certified to dispense these products to patients. They are allowed to dispense products to patients up to a sixty-day supply. Certified patients can have only the allowed quantity and anything more is a violation of the law.

Potential Interactions With Other Medications

Some medicines interact with medical marijuana when you take them simultaneously. This is why it is essential to seek medical advice on your health condition before using marijuana. Before your medical practitioner certifies you fit to use medical marijuana, they would have examined you and known your health condition in detail. 

If you are seeing  more than one doctor, you should let each of them know about your health status and other medications like vitamin supplements, herbs, and drugs you are using to ensure that they prescribe what is best for you. 

It is essential for you to know which drugs interact with marijuana to ensure you also play a proper role in maintaining your health. When marijuana interacts with these drugs, it can lead to minor or severe side effects. Some of them are:

  • Erythromycin
  • Methoxyflurane (Penthrane)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Ranitidine
  • Chlorzoxazone (Parafon Forte)
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Ketoconazole
  • Antipyrine
  • Loperamide (Imodium)
  • Estrogens
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others)
  • Itraconazole
  • Amprenavir
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cimetidine
  • Aspirin
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem)
  • Enflurane (Ethrane)
  • Ibuprofen (advil, motrin, others)
  • Quinidine.
  • Isoflurane (Forane)
  • Phenobarbital (Donnatal)

Tips For Responsible Use Of Medical Marijuana

Some people may not know all that entails in the proper use of medical marijuana. Here are some tips to enable you to get it right:

Use It Medically

Medical marijuana is meant for people who have been certified by a practitioner to use them for their illnesses.  And therefore, the responsible way of using medical marijuana products is to ensure that it is needed to treat your illness and use it according to your doctor’s specifications if any. Some of the qualifying illnesses for the use of medical marijuana in new york include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Epilepsy
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Consume The Required Amount

Although there are not always dosages attached to medical marijuana products, your certified practitioner may have some recommendations for you. Adhering to these recommendations is strictly advised. 

When taking cannabis-infused edibles, be careful not to consume too much. If you are adding cannabis to baked food or beverages, ensure to follow the quantity required for medical consumption. It is advisable to label your food items to avoid consuming too much medical marijuana.

Know The Law

To use medical marijuana responsibly and safely,  you need to be aware of the law and regulations guiding its usage. Know the law on dosage, planting, and Storage. Although the use of marijuana has become flexible as it is used for medical reasons, there are still laws guiding its usage. 

Speak With A Doctor

Before using medical marijuana, ensure that it is prescribed by a certified practitioner. The practitioner would have examined you and certified you okay to use medical marijuana based on your illness. If you are not sure of anything, especially if you are using medical marijuana for the first time, it is advisable to speak with your medical marijuana doctor.

Continuous Consultation 

While using medical marijuana products,  ensure to keep in touch with the certified practitioner. If you are getting adverse effects from using the medication, it is advisable to contact the doctor immediately. If the effect is life-threatening, you should locate an emergency room or call 911 immediately. Remember, you are responsible for staying safe while using medical marijuana.

If your condition is not improving with the use of the medication, you may want to speak with your certifying practitioner or the pharmacist at a designated dispensary. They can help you change the product format or dosage you are taking. They can as well discontinue your usage of the product, depending on what is best for you.

Get Your Medical Marijuana From Designated Dispensaries

Designated dispensaries are always the best places to get medical marijuana products because they can offer professional assistance to patients. If you have any questions or uncertainty in any area, they can offer clarification. Also, Certified dispensaries are the right places to get the required quantity and potency of medical marijuana you need.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

A medical marijuana card is necessary to get medical marijuana products for your illness. It allows you access to the right products you need in the right quantity. With the medical marijuana card, you are covered by the law. 

Know that you can only use a New York state registry medical marijuana card. So you cannot use an out-of-state card to get approved medical marijuana products in New York.

Be Conscious Of Your Setting

Using medical marijuana appropriately involves ensuring you use it in appropriate places. There are different ways of consuming medical marijuana such as tinctures, edibles, capsules, oils, or vapes. In whatever format you consume, being careful of your setting and the people around you is essential. Some people might not be comfortable when you consume cannabis near them.

Control Access To The Medical Marijuana Products

It is advisable to keep your medical marijuana products in safe places where pets and kids cannot reach them. Preferably, your storage should be locked and possibly out of sight. If you are growing marijuana plants, ensure to use a safe place with controlled access as well.

Dispose Of Unwanted Or Unused Medical Marijuana Properly

To avoid the misuse of medical marijuana, it is advisable to properly dispose of the products you do not need. For instance, if you have expired medical marijuana products,  dispose of them in such a way that anyone cannot have access to it and use it.

An appropriate way to dispose of these is by adding water and dirt to the product or plant.  You can add ashes, coffee grounds, or other kinds of dirt to it.

Be Safety Ready

Stay safety-ready in your home, whether you live alone or with other people. It is necessary to have a Poison Control Center number ((800) 222-1222) in your reach in case somebody accidentally consumes the products. In case of any emergency, you can also call 911. 

Reduce The Risks Of Electric Disasters

If you are growing cannabis plants indoors, you will be using more electrical power. So that you do not overwork the circuit, ensure the temperature is properly controlled and you follow all necessary protocols. Get a certified electrician to examine your space and ensure you are complying with all fire and electrical codes. Low-power LED lights with high efficiency will help you conserve energy. Also, ensure all installations are according to protocols and safety guidelines.

Another way of reducing the possibility of explosions and fire disasters is to be mindful of how you extract cannabis oil. Instead of using alcohol or propane when extracting oil for concentrates, it is preferable to use cooking oil, cold water, or other safe alternatives.

Always Maintain Good Air Quality

Ensure the quality of air in the planting area is good. You can achieve this through proper ventilation. It is not safe to consume moldy cannabis. To keep mold and fungus under control, ensure the space is properly ventilated. You can get proper ventilation by opening your windows or by using a humidifier.

Grow Cannabis Safely

When growing cannabis plants, you may want to avoid the use of pesticides because some of them are harmful to human health. If you must use pesticides, limit their usage and ensure you use those with little or no risk to human health. Also,  it helps to keep the plant areas safe and clean. Make sure it is not crowded and the plant is growing healthily. If any plant has been infested by mold, dispose of it immediately. 

Disclose Your Medical Condition To Your Landlord Or Those Who Should Know

Cannabis does have a scent and not everyone likes it. The people around you like your neighbors or landlord may need to know your medical status to avoid possible issues.

Why Should I Adhere To Regulations?

If you are wondering why you should adhere to these regulations and tips, here is why:

To Avoid Legal Sanction

Responsible and safe use of medical marijuana involves adhering to the regulation surrounding the use of the product.  Failure to follow these rules can earn you a legal sanction. Disobeying the law surrounding the use of medical marijuana like having more than is specified for a patient or caregiver, planting more plants than is allowed, using the products without being licensed, or being underaged are some violations that can make you have issues with the law.

To Help You Enjoy The Health Benefits

Before you are certified to use medical marijuana, the legal practitioner has deemed it fit for your health condition. Not adhering to regulations like those pertaining to dosage and product concentration can jeopardize your health. You may lose out on the benefits that come with using medical marijuana for your illness if you do not adhere to the specified ways of using it.

It Keeps The People Around You Safe

Adhering to regulations like keeping medical marijuana out of the reach of kids, preventing mold in your planting space through proper ventilation, and so on can keep you and the people around you safe.

It Saves You Stress

There are some consequences that come with violating the laws surrounding the use of medical marijuana. There is much stress in dealing with legal issues, spending money, and trying to undo the damages that carelessness can curse.

Effects Of Marijuana Abuse

The misuse and abuse of medical marijuana have some side effects that can be dangerous to human health. One such is a higher risk of depression. Research has shown that people who abuse marijuana can get depressed, although there is no clear evidence of this. Also, the research says people who have a history of depression may experience it again if they abuse marijuana.

Another one is a psychiatric disorder. Research has shown that people who abuse high quantities and potency of marijuana daily are at risk of having some form of psychosis like schizophrenia. If not used as directed by a medical practitioner, the user can abuse medical marijuana to the extent of triggering chemical changes in the brain.

Other side effects of misusing and abusing medical marijuana are risks of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) and memory and cognitive functional imbalance.

What Rights Do You Have?

While it is advisable to adhere to safe and responsible use of medical marijuana by ensuring you follow the law and precautions, you should be aware of your right. As a certified patient who qualifies to use medical marijuana, here are some rights you have:

  • Medical marijuana is legal and so long as you have your medical marijuana card, you are allowed to get products from designated dispensaries. As a Registered caregiver you have the same right. You can also grow and store cannabis in authorized limited quantities. 
  • Cannabis does have a sense but it is not harmful.
  • Some landlords may not allow smoking in their properties. In that case, you may use other formats of medical marijuana products. If you have been certified to use medical marijuana, you may want to strategically choose your house.
  • You can make people aware of the laws surrounding the use of medical marijuana and also your doctor’s results.



Using medical marijuana safely and responsibly entails using it within legal confines and medical recommendations. Ensure you have a medical marijuana card and you only own and plant the designated quantity allowed by the law.

It also entails adhering to your practitioner’s recommendations to ensure you get the most benefits healthwise. You should be conscious of the people around you and ensure that kids do not have access to your products.

The tips outlined here will help you know what is expected of you and how to stay within the provisions of the law. While adhering to these regulations, be aware of your rights.


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.