When New York decriminalized cannabis in 2019, it opened the doors for many people with various health conditions to use medical marijuana to treat their ailments. Since then, both recreational and medical cannabis have been legalized in the state. But for those with qualifying conditions, getting a medical marijuana card may seem like a daunting task.
There are several key steps that need to be taken to get a card in the state. First, you must have a verified condition that is being treated through other means with your primary care physician. You must then speak to your doctor about medical marijuana and how it could benefit you. From there, you’ll need to qualify and apply for all the proper documentation. While this seems like an arduous process, for those with certain conditions, it could be well worth it.
Who can prescribe medical marijuana in New York?
As mentioned above, there is a set group of physicians you can see to get approved for a medical marijuana card. Not all appointments need to be done face-to-face; in fact, it’s possible to obtain a medical marijuana card through an online application at MMJ Recs.
Types of medical professionals that can approve a medical marijuana application include:
- Family physicians
- Specialty physicians that work in internal medicine, pain management, infectious disease, and emergency care
Qualifying conditions for medical card in NY
The qualifying conditions for a medical card vary from state to state. When it comes to the state of New York, their list is clearly outlined and consists of several different health disorders. The conditions considered for a medical marijuana card are usually severe, debilitating, or possibly life-threatening.
Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in New York include:
- HIV or AIDS
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- A spinal cord injury with spasticity
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pain that disrupts daily life and functional capabilities (medical marijuana in this instance is to be used as an alternative treatment to opioids or in the instance of substance abuse disorder)
These conditions must severely hinder a person’s ability to participate in typical daily activities and can be accompanied by certain associated conditions such as:
- Cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome
- Severe or chronic pain that inhibits daily life
- Severe nausea that causes a person to be unable to eat throughout the day
- Muscles spasms that are both severe and persistent
- Opioid use disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How can I get a medical card in New York?
Getting a medical marijuana card in New York requires you to seek out a doctor registered with the Medical Marijuana Program who has given the consent for their name to be publicly listed. Once you’ve found such a doctor, you must be certified to receive medical marijuana based on your symptoms and condition. Following your certification, you will have to register with the state of New York and create an account on their website.
During their registration process, you may wish to designate two people as caregivers on your application. This will give those caregivers the ability to get a medical card on your behalf. If a caregiver or caregivers are listed, they must also register with the state in the same way you did as the patient.
Following the registration, a temporary registration number will be given to you or your caregivers, and you can use it with a government-issued identification. This government ID must have a photo to be eligible. With your temporary number and your photo ID, you will then be able to go to any approved medical marijuana dispensary and purchase cannabis products. The card must be brought to the dispensary with every visit for you to be given access to medical marijuana products. Whenever you have MMJ products on your person, you must also have the card with you.
How much is a medical marijuana card in NY?
To obtain a medical marijuana card in New York, you must pay a registration application fee of $50. This fee covers the costs associated with the application. At the time of writing, the $50 fee for the registration application is being waived for all patients and their caregivers due to the Compassionate Care Act.
Featured image by Tania Fernandez on Unsplash