How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card in New York 2021

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In Growing Marijuana in New York – NY Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how New York residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana is now legal in the Empire State but if you are a patient with a debilitating condition, there are a few reasons that might make you want to register for a medical marijuana card.

Overview of Medical Marijuana in New York

In 2014, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law A06357 (S07923) which became the Compassionate Care Act. This gave patients access to a 30-day supply of non-smokable forms of medical cannabis and opened up dispensaries in the state. The rules were then expanded in 2021 when recreational marijuana was legalized.

You can read up on the law here: Part 1004 – Medical Use of Marihuana.

New York’s medical marijuana now allows patients to purchase a 60-day supply of marijuana which can be in smokable form as well as cultivate up to 6 plants at home.

Qualifying conditions 

To qualify, a patient must have at least one of the following conditions:

  • Acute pain management
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid substitution
  • Spinal cord damage

To qualify, your physician must certify that you have at least one qualifying condition. Patients may not petition additional medical conditions at this time.

Patients under the age of 18 may also apply to New York’s Medical Marijuana Program as long as they enlist the help of their parents or legal guardian. They are also required to have at least one caregiver.

Caregivers

Those who wish to apply as a primary caregiver in New York must be a resident at least 21 years old and must not be the patient’s physician. A caregiver may provide service to no more than five patients while patients may have at most only 2 caregivers.

Why should you get a marijuana card in New Jersey

Even though recreational cannabis is already legal in New New York, a medical marijuana card is the only way minor patients can use cannabis for their conditions legally. Medical marijuana is also taxed at a lower rate in New York.

How to get a medical marijuana card in New Jersey

Applying to New York’s medical marijuana program is fairly simple and can be done completely online. If you are qualified and would like to apply, here are the steps you should follow:

For patients, minor patients and caregivers

  1. Consult with a healthcare practitioner registered in New York’s Medical Marijuana Program to get a patient certification for your qualifying condition. You can find a list of licensed practitioners here.
  2. Make sure you have the following requirements ready:
    • A clear digital photo taken according to the NY MMP photo guidelines or your NYS driver’s license (no need to upload picture, just provide the 9-digit number in the NYS DMV ID field) or an NYS Non-Driver ID card
    • Birth certificate (for patients under 18)
    • Proof of NYS residency. This can be any of the following: 
      • Pay stubs from the last two months
      • Current lease agreement or mortgage statement
      • Utility bill that shows your NY address from the last two months
      • Social Security Administration correspondence
      • Healthcare provider bill from the last two months
  1. Go to the NY.gov ID portal and log in or create an account if you do not have one. A guide on how to use the portal can be found here.
  2. Navigate to “Health Applications” then “Medical Marijuana Data Management System” to register. During the registration process, the patient may also designate up to two caregivers. Caregivers must also create an account for themselves. 
  3. Complete your application by providing all the required information and documentary requirements. Under the Compassionate Care Act there is a $50 application fee but the Department is currently waiving this fee for all patients and their designated caregivers.

You will be able to see the status of your application right after you submit it. When your application status changes from “Pending Review” to “Approved”, you should get your medical marijuana card in the mail within 7 to 10 days. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a New York Medical Marijuana Card

Why do I need to medical marijuana card?

Having a New York medical marijuana ID card is the only way minor patients in the state with a debilitating condition will be able to legally use medical marijuana.

Who is eligible for medical marijuana card?

Patients in New York who have at least one qualifying condition may apply for a medical marijuana card.

Why would I want a medical marijuana card?

A medical marijuana card is the only way minor patients with a debilitating condition can use cannabis in New York. Medical cannabis is also taxed at a lower rate, making it cheaper.

How long does the process take?

You can get your New York medical marijuana card 7 to 10 days after your application has been approved.

How much does it cost to obtain a medical marijuana card?

It costs $50 for patients or caregivers to apply for a medical marijuana card in New York.

How many plants can I grow with medical marijuana card?

Patients in New York are allowed to grow up to 6 cannabis plants at home.

How much marijuana can I keep with medical marijuana card?

New York’s medical marijuana now allows patients to purchase a 60-day supply of marijuana which can be in smokable form.

Conclusion

If you’re a patient in New York who needs marijuana for your condition, you would only probably want to apply into the state’s medical marijuana program if you are a minor patient, need a higher supply limit, or want to take advantage of lower taxes for medical marijuana’s. The fees for registering in the NY’s MMP is somewhere on the average which amounts to $50 per year but since it is currently waived, then it is definitely worth applying. 

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