How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

Apply For New York Medical Marijuana Card Online

What is an MMJ Card in New York?

In New York, medical marijuana (MMJ) cards were 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), the agency responsible for overseeing New York’s cannabis programs, stopped issuing plastic Registry ID cards to qualified patients and caregivers registering in the state’s medical marijuana program. Patients now only need to obtain certifications from their healthcare providers to join the New York medical cannabis program. Their Registry IDs appear on their certifications. Such a licensed practitioner certification confirms that the medical condition of the named patient is debilitating enough to benefit from cannabis treatment.

Who Can Get an MMJ Certification in New York?

Only residents of the state are allowed to apply for New York medical marijuana Registry IDs. 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.

Eligible patients must be at least 18 years old. Minors, applying to the state’s medical cannabis program, can also do so with the consent of their parents or legal guardians, who may act as caregivers. Patients’ cannabis certifications must clearly state that they suffer from medical conditions their healthcare providers consider clinically appropriate for medical cannabis treatment.

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Certification 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’s caregiver. New York state medical marijuana program allows a minor to have up to two designated caregivers.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Access in New York in 2024?

The New York medical cannabis program eliminated its list of specific qualifying conditions and allowed certifying healthcare providers to determine the eligibility of their patients for cannabis treatment. Therefore, patients intending to join the state’s medical marijuana program must consult with healthcare providers approved to provide cannabis certifications in the State of New York.

How Do I Get an MMJ Certification in New York in 2024?

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

Therefore, to get an MMJ certification in New York, start by setting up an appointment with a qualified healthcare provider. The certifying provider must be registered, licensed, and 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 Join the New York Medical Marijuana Program?

To get a New York medical marijuana Registry ID, a caregiver is required to be designated by a certified patient on 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 my.ny.gov 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 MMJ Certification?

The time taken to issue a New York cannabis certification depends on the healthcare provider you’re consulting. Most providers issue certifications immediately after reviewing patients’ medical records. 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 include their Registry ID barcodes.

Getting a New York Medical Marijuana Certification Online

It is possible to complete your healthcare provider consultation over telemedicine platforms and obtain your certification online. You can easily find providers willing to issue certifications online on the New York public list of providers registered in its medical cannabis program.

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

New York does not charge any fee for medical certifications. While providers do not charge for the certifications they issue, they would charge patients for consultation. The fee charged varies between $100 and $350 depending on the practice.

How Do I Renew My Medical Marijuana Certification?

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. To avoid re-registering, the patient can contact their certifying provider and ask for an extension of their certifications.

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

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 Certification 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 Certification?

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

  • The patient’s full name
  • Name and contact details of the medical practitioner recommending them for medical cannabis
  • Issue and expiration dates
  • Certification number
  • 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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New York Marijuana MMJ Card