How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

Apply For a New York Medical Marijuana Card Online

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What is an MMJ Card in New York?

In New York, medical marijuana (MMJ) cards are state-issued forms of identification given to patients and caregivers registered in the state's medical-marijuana program. On March 20, 2023, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), made changes to the New York Medical Cannabis Data Management System (MCDMS). The OCM is the state agency responsible for overseeing New York’s cannabis programs. One of the changes made was the elimination of plastic Registry ID cards for qualified patients and caregivers registered in the MCDMS. From March 20, Registry IDs appear on Patient Certifications obtained from certifying medical practitioners participating in the New York medical cannabis program.

Residents with MCDMS Registry ID, per the New York Compassionate Care Act, are allowed to legally possess and purchase regulated amounts of cannabis for medical purposes. These purposes include the treatment of several state-approved debilitating medical conditions. Patients must have a licensed practitioner certification that validates they have a state-approved debilitating medication condition to qualify for a Registry ID. Although marijuana is still illegal under the Federal Controlled Substance Act, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) legalized marijuana use by adults aged 21 years or older in New York.

Who Can Apply for an MMJ Card in New York?

Both residents and non-residents are allowed to apply for New York medical marijuana Registry ID. New York state residents would need to attest to their residency by providing the identification number on their state-issued driver's license or non-driver identification card. Other documents are required by the New York State Department of Health for a Registry ID approval.

Non-residents would need to prove that they are currently receiving treatment in New York by providing proof of their temporary residence In New York. These proofs of a non-resident's temporary residence In New York include and are not limited to one of the following documents;

  • A copy of a lease
  • A utility bill
  • A hospital bill

Note that both state and non-state residents would need to be at least 18 years old and must be diagnosed with any of the New York state-approved debilitating medical conditions. Applications for a New York state Registry ID may still be declined if

  • they submit incomplete information on their applications.
  • they provide false information on their MMJ applications which is punishable under section 210.45 of New York's penalty law.

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in New York?

Yes, in New York minors (persons under 18 years) can register as patients in the NYS medical marijuana program and obtain a Registry ID, given that they have been certified to have any of the state's qualifying conditions by a registered practitioner. A minor's application for a medical marijuana card would have to be submitted by an adult (21 years or older) acting as the minor caregiver. New York state medical marijuana program allows minors to be designated a maximum of two caregivers to help in registering these minors as patients and in obtaining their medical marijuana card.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in New York?

In New York, conditions that qualify state residents for medical marijuana cards are limited to debilitating or life-threatening conditions which include:

  • Cancer
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic pain with documented medical evidence of having lasted more than 3 months or is anticipated to last more than three months, degrades a patient's health and negatively affects their ability to function, given that conventional treatment produces intolerable side effects or has been deemed ineffective in treating the condition by a practitioner as stipulated in section 1004.2 of Title 10 of the New York Codes Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).

It's important to note that these life-threatening and debilitating medical conditions must be associated with or have one of the following symptoms:

  • Cachexia syndrome
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea, seizures, or persistent muscle spasms
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Opioid use disorder

How Do I Apply for an MMJ Card in New York in 2023?

The OCM changed how New York residents register for its medical marijuana program and obtain permission to access medical cannabis in the state. From March 20, 2023, qualifying patients no longer need to send in applications or visit the online portal of the New York Medical Cannabis Data Management System to get a medical marijuana Registry ID. When they get certified for medical cannabis by their medical provider, they are automatically enrolled in the New York medical marijuana program and set up with Registry IDs in the MCDMS.

Therefore, the only step required to get an MMJ card, or Registry ID, in New York is getting certified for medical cannabis use by a New York-licensed medical provider. The certifying provider must be registered, licensed, or certified to prescribe controlled substances to people in the state. New York allows physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, dentists, podiatrists, and midwives who have taken a minimum two-hour course offered by OCM-accredited providers. Prospective applicants can easily find New York-certified healthcare providers qualified to recommend medical cannabis.

After getting certified, the qualified patient can print out their patient certification. This document includes their Registry ID and can be presented at medical cannabis dispensaries, along with a government-issued photo ID to purchase medical marijuana.

How Does a Primary Caregiver Get a New York MMIC?

To get a New York medical marijuana Registry ID, a caregiver is required to be designated by a certified patient within the state medical cannabis data management system (MCDMS) during or after their registration. After getting added to a patient’s profile, the designated caregiver would need to

  • Log in to the patient’s account and choose Medical Cannabis Data Management System under Health Applications
  • Click on the patient’s registration tile. If the tile is not available, click on the Start/Link New Registration and select Patient or Caregiver to enable the tile
  • Click Manage Caregivers. New York allows medical cannabis patients to designate up to five caregivers. Select Add a Caregiver to register a new caregiver to the patient account
  • Complete the form presented and submit the registration by clicking the Add button

How long does it take to get a New York MMIC?

With the OCM no longer printing and sending plastic Registry IDs, New York medical marijuana Registry IDs are instantly available after getting a patient certification. Participating patients and caregivers can simply visit their MCDMS profiles to print their patient certifications which includes their Registry ID barcodes.

Getting a New York Medical Marijuana Card Online

There is no longer a need to apply for a New York Registry ID online. The March 20, 2023 change to the MCDMS means that patients are automatically registered when they get their patient certifications from their medical providers. They also obtain a Registry ID upon certification.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in New York?

As patients are no longer required to submit applications to join the New York medical cannabis program and obtain Registry ID cards, the state no longer charges for these services. Patients are automatically registered in the program when they become certified for medical cannabis by their healthcare providers. These providers, however, would charge patients for consultation. The fee charged varies from practice to practice.

How Do I Renew My Medical Marijuana Card?

When a Registry ID expires, the patient would have to consult with a registered practitioner to ascertain if their debilitating condition can still benefit from medical marijuana treatment. A new certification is then issued to the qualifying patient to reactivate their Registry ID.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in New York?

New York no longer sends physical medical marijuana cards to qualified patients nor require them to apply for these documents. To obtain a Registry ID for medical marijuana in the state, visit one of the healthcare providers in the state approved to provide medical cannabis recommendations. You do not need to bring any document to these consultations except those confirming the diagnosis of the debilitating conditions for which you are seeking cannabis recommendation.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in New York?

Yes, New York bill A06357 exempts medical marijuana patients' information from disclosure and requires the NYSDOH medical marijuana program to maintain a confidential list of registered patients and caregivers. The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also protects sensitive medical information of patients from being disclosed without their consent or knowledge. Such health information also includes patients’ details uploaded to the MCDMS. The HIPAA is a federal law and the act sets the national standard for patients' health care information protection.

What Information Appears On A New York Medical Marijuana Card?

The information found on a New York medical marijuana Registry ID includes the following:

  • The full patient’s or caregiver’s name
  • The date of birth of the patient or caregiver
  • Name and contact details of the medical practitioner recommending them for medical cannabis (only on Patient ID)
  • Issue and expiration dates
  • The card-owners role, which indicates whether they are patients or caregivers
  • Certification number (only on Patient ID)
  • Registry ID barcode

Can Someone Track Me Down Through The New York Registry?

No, New York health care registries are protected under HIPAA and third-party access to your healthcare information or use of these pieces of information to track you is prohibited. New York state laws also dictate that the New York State Department of Health registries used in registering NYS medical marijuana patients remain confidential.

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