Medical marijuana is gaining more popularity as an alternative to conventional medicine and a more natural option to treat various diseases and illnesses. Although there is still a lot more research to be conducted, many miraculous stories have surfaced, and this alternative medicine seems promising.
It may also come as a surprise to know that using cannabis as medicine is not new. In 2737 B.C. China, Emperor Shen Neng prescribed marijuana to treat various illnesses malaria, gout and memory problems.
Today, medical cannabis is legal in 29 U.S. states, including New York. Each state has varying laws regarding the form and amount of medical marijuana allowed. Furthermore, only certain health conditions may qualify for a medical cannabis prescription. There are different ways to take medical cannabis, such as tinctures, smoking or edibles; however, the only legal way to consume medical marijuana in New York is orally.
Health Conditions that Qualify for Medical Marijuana in New York
If you are living in New York and are interested in trying medical cannabis, the first thing you would need to consider is whether your health condition qualifies. The health issues that qualify by law include cancer, HIV or AIDs, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis. You will need to discuss with your doctor whether medical marijuana would be appropriate for you. Furthermore, your doctor will need to be registered with the New York Department of Health for them to issue you with a certification for the medicine.
Requirements for Physicians to be in the Medical Cannabis Program
If your doctor is not registered in the medical marijuana program, they must meet a list of criteria to be accepted. First, they must complete a four-hour course approved by the commissioner, and they must be qualified to treat patients with serious conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and inflammatory bowel disease. Moreover, they must be licensed, in good standing as a physician, practicing medicine and registered with the New York Department of Health.
Registering for the Medical Marijuana in New York
Once you have received your certification from your medical practitioner, you can then register for the medical cannabis program through the Department of Health’s online patient registration. There is a fee of $50 to apply. Proof of identity as well as residence must be provided, and the Department of Health will then send a registry identification card. Patients then simply must take their certification and identification card to a dispensing facility to obtain the medical marijuana they need.
Buying Medical Marijuana in New York
In New York, there are 20 dispensaries; almost 900 medical practitioners who are registered to prescribe medical cannabis; and 14,400 patients who are certified to buy the medicine. The possession limit in New York is limited to a 30-day supply, and you can purchase tinctures, vaporizers and medical cannabis concentrates.
The price of medical marijuana in New York can vary; however, the Department of Health works with consultants to make sure that pricing is comparable between all dispensaries. To get an idea, medical marijuana in New York will cost you roughly $30 per gram, but depending on how much you require, this means that it could cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month.
Fortunately, one of New York’s medical cannabis producers, Etain Health, has recently created a discount program for customers. The idea is to make medical marijuana more affordable, and they do this by ensuring that for every $100 spent, there is a $5 discount until $400 is spent. Then the discount increases to $10 per $100 spent. If you end up spending $1,000 or more, then you will receive a $15 discount for every $100 spent.
How Medical Marijuana in New York Compares
Overall, New York seems to have a stricter program compared to the other legal states when it comes to being qualified for medical marijuana. Only several serious illnesses and diseases are considered for this form of medication. Chronic pain that causes health and function degradation has also been accepted as an ailment that will qualify for medical cannabis. Moreover, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be allowed to certify people for the medicine, and the state is even considering home deliveries.
As medical marijuana laws in New York start loosening the restrictions and regulations, an increase in patients is expected. Hopefully, more will be able to benefit from this alternative form of medication.