How to get your medical marijuana card in New York

If you live in New York, congratulations! Medical cannabis is coming your way. Here’s what you need to do to get your MMJ card when dispensaries open in January 2016.

Step 1: Make sure your symptoms qualify you for cannabis in New York


Cancer patients who have wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe or persistent muscle spasms will qualify for legal cannabis in New York.

People with HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage causing spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, or Huntington’s disease also qualify.

Step 2: Get a certification from your doctor

doctor talking to her male senior patient at office

Your certification must come from an MD who is currently treating you and who has completed the required training program with New York’s medical marijuana program. You have one year from the date you are certified to apply for a state registry identification card. If your doctor isn’t familiar with the program, you can pass on some helpful information from our friends at Compassionate Care New York about how they may register with the state.

Step 3: Fill out an application online for your patient certification card and pay the $50 fee each year


You’ll create a account and submit these items to the Department of Health along with your photograph, proof of NY residency and doctor’s certification.

Step 4: Appoint up to two people to pick up your cannabis on your behalf

Senior Man Hugging Adult Son

These people are called caregivers and must be over 21 and must go through the same application process as the patient.

Step 5: Wait


Expect it to take about 21 days for your patient certification card to arrive in the mail.

Step 6: Choose your product

100526-N-9520G-001 OAK HARBOR, Wash. (May 26, 2010) Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Keith Forrester, from Southfield, Mich., assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, and Yeoman Seaman Jelinda Hill, assigned to Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Ten, both stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, look over a list of grocery items during a healthy choices scavenger hunt supporting Commissary Awareness Month. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardelito Gervacio/Released)

Cancer patients in New York will have access to cannabis that has been processed into capsules, such as liquid or oil extracts to use in vaporizers, or as liquids or oils to take in the mouth. Smoking marijuana is not allowed and topicals or edible products like cookies, brownies, and drinks are not yet approved by New York’s Health Commissioner.

Step 7: Purchase up to one-month’s supply at a time

Medical Marijuana and Cannabis Buds with Cash Money Dollar Bills ** Note: Shallow depth of field

You may possess a 30-day supply of your cannabis at a time and you can get a refill from the one of the dispensaries located across the state seven days before the end of that period.

Step 8: Consume your product in private and keep your MMJ card on you


Also remember that federal law prohibits cannabis from crossing state lines.

Step 9: Know your rights


People who are taking medical marijuana (and people working in the industry) are protected from prosecution and discrimination under New York’s medical marijuana law.

For more information, check out New York’s official Medical Marijuana Program Regulations here.

Have you talked to your doctor about getting a medical cannabis card? Contact us and let us know about your experience.


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