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Medical marijuana in New York is available to legal residents of the state who suffer from one or more qualifying conditions approved for medical marijuana therapy in the state. These conditions include:
No. Medical marijuana cards are no longer issued in New York State. However, you can receive medical cannabis certifications via telemedicine.
Patients no longer have to register directly with the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. Previously, patients must submit an application to the OCM to be included in the New York State medical cannabis program. Now, patients are auto-registered when they receive a medical cannabis certification from a qualified healthcare provider in New York. The certifications issued will contain their registry ID numbers. Healthcare providers issuing medical cannabis certifications via telemedicine can be found on the OCM list of certifying healthcare providers.
Medical cannabis cards are not issued in New York State. However, to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program, you must be a legal resident of New York.
New York patients are no longer issued plastic registry identification cards from March 20, 2023. However, consultation charges still apply when you visit a healthcare provider to obtain a medical marijuana certification. This fee varies but is typically between $150 and $300.
Since patient certifications now contain their registry identification numbers, you only need to visit the dispensary with your valid government-issued ID and medical marijuana certification beginning with PC3 and containing your Registry ID barcode. A caregiver must bring their Office of Cannabis Management-issued designated caregiver registry ID and the patient's medical cannabis certification.
New York requires persons seeking medical marijuana cards to obtain medical marijuana certifications from qualified healthcare providers in the state. To qualify to issue medical cannabis certification in New York, a healthcare provider must be registered and licensed by New York State to prescribe controlled substances to humans. Such healthcare providers may be physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, podiatrists, dentists, and midwives. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) maintains a list of consenting medical cannabis program practitioners on its website. Patients can find healthcare practitioners qualified to issue medical cannabis certifications by county on the list. Telemedicine healthcare providers are also available on the list.
Note that the list does not include all certifying healthcare practitioners in New York State. Only the practitioners who have consented to be listed publicly are contained in the NYSDOH list. The NYSDOH also allows healthcare practitioners to opt in and opt out of being listed publicly.
Although medical marijuana cards are not issued to minors, patients under 18 can still access medical marijuana in New York through a designated caregiver. A medical marijuana certification must be obtained to attest that the minor suffers from a qualifying condition to enroll in the program. The caregiver must accompany the patient to the appointment with the healthcare provider and must be approved to represent the patient by the Office of Cannabis Management. Per OCM rules, the caregiver may be a parent or legal guardian of the patient, a representative authorized by the OCM, an individual authorized by the parent or legal guardian of the patient, or an employee of a caregiver facility.
New York no longer issues physical medical marijuana cards. However, any state resident aged 18 or older with a qualifying condition can obtain a medical marijuana certification, which is required to purchase medical cannabis legally in the state.
Since the New York medical cannabis program no longer issues plastic medical marijuana cards, your medical cannabis program registration can be renewed by contacting your healthcare practitioner to extend the expiration on your current certification. You do not need to re-register if the medical provider renews your registration before it expires. The same is true for designated caregivers.
Yes. Medicinal marijuana was legalized in New York in 2014 under the Compassionate Care Act (CCA). The Act permitted the possession, use, delivery, and administration of medicinal marijuana by qualified patients and designated caregivers. The regulatory authority over the New York medical marijuana program (MMP) is the New York Department of Health, while the program is overseen by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). As of June 1, 2022, New York has 124,352 patients registered under its medical cannabis program.
Note that upon the appointment of the membership of the Cannabis Control Board, the CCA will be repealed from the New York Public Health Law. Subsequently, Article 3 of the new cannabis law will govern the medical use of cannabis in New York.
Registered medical marijuana patients aged 21 or older may grow marijuana at home for medical use. Designated caregivers over the age of 21, registered under the medical cannabis program and designated by qualified patients younger than 21 who have cognitive or physical impairments preventing them from growing marijuana, may also grow marijuana for use by their patients. New York permits registered patients under the age of 21 who are unable to grow marijuana on their own to designate one of their caregivers to grow marijuana on their behalf.
According to the Cannabis Control Board regulations, a qualified patient may grow up to three mature and three immature marijuana plants. No more than six mature plants and six immature plants may be grown on or within the grounds of any private residence, regardless of the number of adults living in the household. The regulations prohibit medical marijuana patients from having more than one caregiver growing marijuana on their behalf. If more than one patient has designated an individual as a caregiver, the caregiver may grow one additional plant for each patient above the stipulated limit.
The CCB regulations require marijuana plants to be kept in secure locations and stipulate that growers use protective measures such that neither marijuana plants nor their products are accessible or visible to persons under the age of 21. Hence, cultivation must be conducted in enclosed areas not visible from public areas. Reasonable measures must also be taken to mitigate the odor of cannabis.
Note that the provisions outlined above will only become effective once regulations and changes to the administrative structure of the Department of Health have been developed. Per the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), the medical marijuana program is expected to transition from the New York Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management no later than six months after the Cannabis Control Board is appointed. For updates on the CCB appointment and transitioning process, check the New York medical marijuana program website.
Although medical marijuana cards are no longer issued in New York, patients with New York medical cannabis registry IDs can purchase up to 60-day supplies of medical marijuana. This amount is higher than the limit placed on recreational cannabis, capped at 85 grams of non-concentrated marijuana or 24 grams of concentrated marijuana products. Also, medical cannabis products are cheaper than recreational cannabis products owing to the higher tax on adult-use cannabis products.
Yes. The New York medical cannabis program permits certified patients to designate caregivers to help them access medical marijuana. Caregivers are individuals who have agreed, and have been designated by minors or incapacitated adults, to help obtain and administer medical-grade marijuana on their behalf. The state does not assign caregivers to certified patients in New York. It is the responsibility of patients to find and designate medical marijuana caregivers to administer marijuana on their behalf.
Caregivers are required to register for their own medical marijuana cards. Background checks will be required before their applications are approved.
New York State does not offer medical marijuana reciprocity to out-of-state patients. Hence, if you are visiting any New York State jurisdiction, you cannot bring your medical marijuana across state lines or purchase medical cannabis in the state.
According to New York medical cannabis laws, medical marijuana records are private and are exempt from public disclosure. Notwithstanding the privacy protection provision, law enforcement may be allowed access to a medical marijuana record under specific conditions, such as when the Department of Health intends to verify to law enforcement personnel whether an individual has a valid New York State medical cannabis registration ID number. New York employers do not have access to medical marijuana records.
Medicaid and other public and commercial health plans do not cover medical marijuana in New York State.
Medical marijuana cards are not issued under the New York medical cannabis program. However, medical marijuana patients with active medical cannabis certifications are allowed to purchase up to 60-day supplies of marijuana.
Yes. Medical marijuana cards are no longer required to purchase marijuana in New York. Recreational marijuana buyers only need to present valid government IDs to prove they are 21 or older to buy cannabis. Medical marijuana buyers are only required to present their medical cannabis certifications and valid government IDs to buy medical cannabis.