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How To Get Your Medical Marijuana Card In New York

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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

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 NY.gov 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

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

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

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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How To Get Medical Marijuana In California

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Recreational cannabis is not legal in California, but anyone with a medical condition that can be treated by cannabis is eligible to consume. Anxiety and back pain count.

8 Steps To Get Medical Marijuana In California

Step 1: Get A Recommendation From A Doctor

Ask a California licensed physician for a written letter of recommendation to use cannabis for your condition. You’ll need to show your California I.D. with proof of residency. Or you can go with an online recommendation from a service like CannabisMD. The recommendation will be valid for one year.

Step 2: Designate A Caregiver (Optional)

You can designate a caregiver who may buy and grow cannabis for you. This person should be over 18 and provide caregiving services to you beyond just providing marijuana.

Step 3: Get Your Medical Marijuana Identification Card (Optional)

Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) makes it easy for law enforcement agents to access your records in the event that you’re stopped. Your CannabisMD recommendation includes a MMIC. Or you can apply in person at your local county public health department.

Step 4: Find A Dispensary

You can look up dispensaries on Google Maps or YelpWeedmaps and Leafly are cannabis-specific locators. Bring your recommendation and state I.D.  Many dispensaries operate through collectives where members may grow and buy cannabis. Some provide delivery.

Step 5: Choose Your Product

Californians have access to cannabis flower, extracts, topicals, oils, edibles, seeds and clones. Talk to your budtender to see which product works best for you.

Step 6: Budget

Cannabis is not covered by insurance and is taxed at the state and local level. Some kindhearted dispensaries like Phytology in Oakland offer discounts to patients who can show they suffer from serious medical conditions.

Step 7: Know Your Rights

A recommendation protects you from arrest for the possession of up to 8 oz. of cannabis, 6 flowering plants, and 12 immature plants. However, it does not trump your employer’s policy on marijuana and may not prevent you from losing a custody battle if you test positive for cannabis. Landlords and local zoning laws are free to prohibit home growing.

Step 8: Follow The Law

Cannabis smoking is prohibited in all ‘no smoking’ areas in the state and also within 1000 feet of a school, recreational center or youth center, on a school bus or while driving. Please help us debunk cannabis stereotypes by being respectful.

Do you have any tips for using medical marijuana in California?

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