6 Points To Remember Before Applying For A Medical Cannabis Card

6 Points To Remember Before Applying For A Medical Cannabis Card

Are you applying for an MMJ card in New York? If yes, then that’s a good thing. You are opening your doors to a number of privileges including legal security and money savings. You wouldn’t have had access to it without a medical card. But, while applying for one has no harm whatsoever, being ignorant of the important facts before getting a medical card may lead to risky situations. For example, are you aware of the laws? Of the limitations? Any specific points to remember that can get you into legal problems if not followed? 

I’m not making any assumptions but all of these questions have an answer. And you must learn of all these answers before applying for and using your medical card in New York. So read along and educate yourself on the important points that you must know before getting a medical cannabis card. 

Limitations 

It is true that a medical card provides you certain privileges that do not extend to recreational cannabis. But it does not mean that you are not bound by any limitations. Cannabis comes from a history of legal struggles. And its legalization in 33 states of the US didn’t come easy. But despite the recognition as a medicine on the state level, the use of cannabis has to be kept under control. Even in a state like New York where you can only use cannabis with a medical card. 

This is why, all states that have legalized medical or recreational cannabis, follow a medical marijuana program that lays down the marijuana laws of a state. All cannabis consumers have to abide by the laws to avoid any legal penalties. For example, in the city of New York, you can only possess a maximum of a 30 day stock of your medicine. 

Renewal

Now you know that when you are in New York, a medical card is a must to use medical cannabis. But before you apply for a medical card let me tell you that it will be a commitment. What I mean by this is that if you wish to keep using cannabis and enjoy the privileges, you will have to get a renewal for your medical card. This is because every medical card has a validity of only one year from the date of issuance. Upon expiry, you will have to apply for a renewal. 

The good news here is that it is a pretty simple process. More than likely, the place you got your card from will have a renewal service too. So you can get in touch with them and resume your services. Or you can even get it done online. It’s just a 10 minute process before you receive your renewal on your email.

Not all states have the same laws

If you are one who crosses borders often and also uses medical cannabis, it is very important that you realize that every state follows a different medical marijuana program. And so has a different set of marijuana laws. Let’s take the instance of New York and California. While the former is known to have the strictest laws for marijuana, the latter is more liberal to a point where recreational cannabis is also legal. Similarly, California practices medical marijuana reciprocity which means that a medical card of any state can be used in CA. But the same cannot be said about New York. Also, you can find a lot of varieties of cannabis products in California whereas in New York, smokeables and edibles are not legally allowed.

 

So irrespective of the fact that you have a medical card or not, if you move from one state to another without being acquainted with their marijuana laws, you may have to face a legal persecution. 

You can use medical marijuana if you’re under 18

That’s right. Even if you are under 18, you can use medical marijuanna. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are a number of restrictions that have to be followed. For starters, you will have to get a recommendation. Only if a licensed doctor finds your condition to be suitable for using cannabis, you will be given a recommendation. 

Secondly, you cannot buy your own cannabis but you can have someone else to do it for you. They are called caregivers. They will look after your daily dose and be responsible to get medical cannabis for you. So you can designate 2 caregivers for yourself. They must be a citizen of New York and of the age of 21 years or above. If these conditions are met, they can register with the New York Health Department as your designated caregiver.  

You can still get arrested

Cannabis has evolved from being called a gateway drug to medical aid. But even today, the legalities surrounding cannabis aren’t as simple as you may think. With a medical cannabis card in New York, you are allowed to use and buy cannabis without any legal trouble. But, if you ignore the medical marijuana laws of the state, you may still be arrested. For example, if you are found using your medical card to buy cannabis for someone else, it will be considered illegal. Or if you are found with more cannabis than you are legally allowed to possess.

Along with this, the fear of arrest comes from the federal laws. While medical cannabis is legal in New York, the federal government does not consider it as a medicine. So federally, cannabis is still an illegal drug. But you don’t have to worry as long as you are under the state jurisdiction and own a medical card. But if you enter federal jurisdiction, such as the air space after a plane takes off and the state borders, you are susceptible to an arrest. 

Make sure your doctor is legit

While getting a medical card in New York is a 10 minute process, you must not be so quick in settling for a clinic or a doctor. With telemedicine, the number of unregistered clinics and doctors has increased. So you must make sure that your doctor is licensed by the New York Government and works in a clinic with a real location. You must be able to verify the address of your doctor or the New York Health Department will not accept your medical card. 

Now that you have gone through some of the important points about a medical card, go ahead and apply for one right now. Just remember, choose a trusted source only. 

How Are Medical Marijuana New York Conditions Changing

medical marijuana new york conditions

Learn the best tips to effectively incorporate it into your business strategy.

About 40 years ago, the state of New York decriminalized the possession of 25 grams of cannabis. That law is still applicable to this date. Then building up on that in the year 1977, you had New York’s Marijuana Reform Act, which made private possession a violation instead of a criminal offense. Also illegal? Possession in “Public view.”

So, why does cannabis possession still accounts for about 60 arrests per day? In the city alone, over 170,000 people faced prosecution for possession in 2017. This is disproportional amongst the different sections of the society where you are more likely to be arrested if you are a person of color than anyone else.

New York is still trailing behind the states in regards to marijuana. Medical Marijuana Card in New York also has its unique laws, and let’s not even get started on the state of legalization in the recreational arena.

But if you really need it as a medical necessity, make your way to a friendly physician, or some street retailers will be happy to oblige you. However, times are changing, and the cannabis story of New York is just starting.

The State Of Cannabis In New York Today

The Governor and Mayor of New York have both showed some amount of support for marijuana. Earlier, the Governor called it a gateway drug, so this was a surprising change. But this stance has changed primarily after the amount of support it managed to create in both the senate and house in New York.

For the Mayor, family history of alcohol and tobacco have been the reason behind not wanting to legalize the herb. A study to understand the pros and cons of permitting recreational cannabis was. The research, too, concluded that the benefits outweigh the cons.

In August 2019, a group of public safety and health officials got together to form a committee to devise the legislative recommendations regarding the issue. The suggested outline is more or less the same as the other states. If you are 21, then there are no restrictions, and smoking in public is prohibited. The other recommendations include establishing clear cannabis business zones, establishing safety standards for products, and expunging the records of low-level cannabis convictions.

How Illegal Is It Exactly

A jail trip is not what you would ideally earn for smoking in public. But if by any chance you have an open warrant in your name, are not carrying your ID, or been convicted of a violent crime, you could earn a trip to the nearest police precinct.

If you are clean, then the worst you could get is a ticket and a fine of $100. The ticket automatically implies that you have to show up in court. It will not show up on your record because it is a violation rather than an outright crime,

Selling still has more significant reparations than just possession. Possession with the intent to sell can get you a year behind bars and a $1000 fine. The same punishment is applicable to anyone caught growing any amount of marijuana.

Recreational Weed Status

The corner store is your best bet if you are hunting down recreational weed. There are rumors about a particular park that gets its name from an early American president, being quite the hub for independent cannabis peddlers. Due to that saturation of the market, you are just as likely to get good stuff as anywhere else. The best way to get your hands on high-quality weed still remains to get references through word of mouth.

If you don’t know anyone in the city, then check some online communities. The internet has various chats, forums, and subreddits that will be able to give you plenty of information about marijuana in the city. A couple of posts should get you the access you need to get your hands on some cannabis. However, be vigilant and only meet a new person for the first time in a safe, public place.

You have strains like Sour Diesel, Girl Scout Cookies, Super Lemon Haze, Headband, and Gorilla Glue available in the city. But it still has its drawbacks associated with it. Smoking in NYC is illegal, and there is no guarantee that you won’t receive a fine in the event of getting caught.

What About Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana achieved legalization in NYC in the year 2016. The following year dispensaries have cropped up all over the city. You have non-descript stores, so unless you are looking for them, you won’t see them. Smoking in NYC still remains illegal, no matter if it is for medical use. Instead, the dispensaries here specialize in tinctures, vapes, and pills — so no bud ( or flower, whatever you call it).

The rules that govern NYC to get a medical card are also extremely strict, and there are only a handful of conditions that make you eligible to get a card. The list includes nausea, seizures, severe muscle spasms, chronic pain, cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, PTSD, and opioid use disorder.

Studies have recently shown that people who have opioid dependency can actually wean off with the help of marijuana. If you would have noticed the most common reason for justifying the use of cannabis -anxiety has been left off the list.

What About CBD?

Well, for a minute, it almost seemed like New York would have a revolution on the grocery shelves in the form of CBD. But before that could happen, the city legislation swooped in to ban all these products. CBD is still available in liquid form, but one has to add to their morning coffee themselves.

The Future

There were hopes that it would happen this year, but that did not happen. The legislation did pass a bill that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. A different proposal prevents employers from testing potential employees for marijuana.

There does not seem to be any hurry to pass the legalization ruling just yet. But, if and when it does get through the house, the groundwork will be strong.

What Are The Most Trending Searches About Medical Marijuana in NYC?

Weed, pot, cannabis, marijuana, or Mary Jane; whatever name you give to this plant. Nothing will be able to halt the rising popularity even in the states who are disagreeing with its tremendous therapeutic potential. So, why is New York pushing the date for legalizing weed? Or why is there so much hype about medical marijuana NYC?

“There is a lot of uncertainty about marijuana and no one knows how it’s going to be like in the future” — A lot of groups are using this theory to avoid any conversation about marijuana and its future in the “City of Dreams”. 

However, marijuana legalization failed to make its mark in the city that never sleeps despite all the efforts to lighten up the situation and make it possible for the city legislatures to get through with the necessary legal procedures. But, the only thing that could get through was marijuana “decriminalization” law. However, no one could not find any changes as of now. In addition to that, myths and misconceptions around CBD are yet to be resolved. 

To answer the most buzzing questions, some of the panelists present at the Cannabis Insider Live discussed the possibilities of medical marijuana in NYC.

When Will Weed be Legal in New York?

Well, like every person hoping for a bright future of cannabis not only in their respective states, also in the entire country.People in New York are also hoping that the state agencies will understand the importance of marijuana and that it can actually lower down drug trafficking issues. 

There will be another attempt to pass the bill. State official says that the earlier bill was not in favor of the public or the government officials. There should be a balance. Without that, recreational marijuana can turn out to be a headache for everyone in the state. Like it happened in the year 2014 when medical marijuana NYC got its recognition in the state.  

How Will Weed Legalization Affect Medical Marijuana in NYC?

Experts and medical marijuana learned scholars understand the fact that if marijuana becomes available for adult-use; people might want to go for recreational. But, that’s not how you will get what you desire. Recreational marijuana can never replace the need for medical marijuana. But, no one understands the glitches and often turn to recreational ones. 

For starters, you can only use marijuana if you are 21 years and above if you will go with recreational weed. Of course, there will be limitations with recreational weed products. Just like the state of California. If everyone could get everything, why would there be any recommendations about different forms of marijuana? 

In addition to that, there might be positive aspects associated with legalizing weed. For instance, chances are prices of weed might fall after the legalization of weed. Other than that, the chances of companies funding into more innovative products increase. And this will indirectly help thousands of patients dealing with medical issues.

And patients might be allowed to grow cannabis. This would be like an all-time breakthrough in the state of NY where no one is allowed to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes. Who knows the state legalizes even smokable products for medicinal use? Won’t it be helpful for patients looking for immediate or instant therapeutic effects? 

Who Will be Able to Process or Sell Marijuana?

Experts who are against the Cuomo’s administration think that he is trying to favor the large enterprises that might control or sell legal cannabis. They are thinking that some companies are trying to cash in such a big opportunity. And it might affect the quality of the products. 

So, experts are suggesting a three-tier system for marijuana as well. For instance, separating manufacturing, selling, and retailing processes of marijuana. There should be proper limitations when it comes to marijuana so that nobody takes undue advantages. 

But, nobody figured it yet about the possibilities of recreational and medical marijuana in NYC.

What is the Legality of CBD in New York?

Well, products with CBD are available in the entire New York. You can find them in supermarkets and coffee shops. The boom started with the approval of Farm Bill 2018. New York too licensed dozens of hemp growers via some pilot program last year. 

But, then in the month of July 2019, the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets said no to CBD in foods or drinks. Although it did not apply to any topicals, oil tinctures, or other uses. It does not apply to things containing hemp seed oil. 

So, there is practically a lot of confusion regarding CBD in the entire state of New York. But, the change arrived with the introduction of hemp extracts bill that allows using around 22mg CBD per serving in beverages. However, CBD is still illegal in food products. 

Key Takeaways 

The questions concerning legalizing recreational marijuana are still under wraps. Nobody knows when and how will that happen. Some have a notion that it might affect the ongoing statewide program of medical marijuana in NYC. For others, it is a road to a brighter New York where people don’t have to go anywhere to experience the taste of marijuana.

It all depends on the democrats and other state officials to decide the course of action in the near future. However, its the need of people that will drive most of the results in the coming year. We hope that soon New York also enters the league of states that legalized marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes. 

But, whatever may be the case; there will no end to questions like- 

  1. When will New York legalize weed?
  2. How to get weed in New York?
  3. How to get medical marijuana in New York?

And we are here to provide solutions about all your queries without a fail. So, if you are also concerned about any medical marijuana law or what is legal and what is not; share your queries in the comments section and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

 

Learn Medical Marijuana Laws & Legalization in New York

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in New York?

Yes! Medical marijuana is legal in New York since 2014 when the Compassionate Care Act was signed. To access marijuana from medical dispensaries, patients & caregivers need to have valid registry ID cards. Registered users are allowed to hold up to a 30-day supply of cannabis products.

In New York, The Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) is responsible for the registry and certification of patients and caregivers statewide. The adult-use marijuana is illegal in the state.

Let’s learn about medical marijuana laws, MMJ registry program, qualifying conditions, and more.

History of Medical Marijuana Legalization in NY

New York started limiting the legal use of marijuana in 1914, restricting it for medical use. Then in 1927, the state banned it totally.

There has been a lot of debates on the legalization of marijuana, but the New York State Legislature was not able to make a decision. However, on July 29, 2019, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the decriminalization bill into law. It came into effect after a month. It increased the amount of cannabis users can possess without getting booked with a criminal charge. This states—if you possess 2 ounces of cannabis products, it will be considered as a violation, but not a crime.

Prior to this, the fine for getting caught with 1 ounce of marijuana was $100. But, now, the fine is $50 for less than 1 ounce and $100 for quantities between 1 to 2 ounces.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York?

Medical users who want to get legal access to marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries need to register for ID cards with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP).

For registration, users need to talk to a medical marijuana doctor registered with the Department of Health. In the state, there’re about 1700 registered practitioners. The state has added nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the list of health professionals who are authorized to certify patients. Practitioners need to complete an education course approved by the Department of Health and register with the Health Commerce System.

To be medical users, patients must be the residents of New York or must be temporarily residing for medical treatment. Additionally, they must suffer from one of the MMJ qualifying conditions listed below-

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain that meets legal definitions, such as pain that lasts three months or more
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathy
  • Opioid use or substance use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pain that degrades health and functional capability
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • A severe, debilitating, or life-threatening condition accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions:
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Seizures

The doctor will comprehensively check your condition to evaluate if you’re eligible to access marijuana for medical purposes. They may ask you for medical history for verification purposes.

Buying Marijuana Products

In New York, as of June 2019, 10 state-regulated organizations are running 35 dispensaries. Patients and caregivers need to bring their ID cards for buying marijuana products from these dispensaries. However, some organizations also offer online ordering facility.

Medical marijuana is available in various non-smokable forms—capsules, oils, spray, liquids, and vaporizer products. The current law prohibits edibles. However, you can buy CBD-infused beverages and foods. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which doesn’t cause any high effects.

The prices for marijuana products may vary from dispensary to dispensary. However, the Department of Health checks dispensary reports and decides the maximum price-per-milligram dose based on various factors. These are costs of manufacturers, market, etc.

Possession of Marijuana Products

In New York, patients can hold up to a 30-day supply of marijuana products. The state allows only registered users and caregivers with valid ID cards to possess cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries.

In places where smoking tobacco is prohibited, smoking or vaping approved medical marijuana products is illegal. Users can’t smoke cannabis within 100 feet/30 ½ meters of public/private school grounds. Moreover, users can’t use marijuana in motor vehicles on public/private roads or parking spaces.

What about transporting marijuana outside the state? As per New York regulations, it’s not allowed.

Additionally, the state doesn’t offer reciprocity, which means, MMJ cards issued by other states aren’t accepted.

Regulations For Caregivers

Caregivers provide the required support to patients to help them in managing their conditions. In New York, certified patients can designate caregivers. One patient can use services of up to 2 caregivers. However, as of December 2017, patients can designate certain facilities as caregivers.

Caregivers are also required to apply for the same process as patients for identification purposes. Once registered, a caregiver can provide services up to 5 patients in administrating medical marijuana treatment. It’s necessary to note that cannabis should be in proper consumption forms and dosages for patients.

Marijuana Cultivation at Home

Several marijuana legalized states allow cultivation of cannabis plants at home for personal use. But, in New York, patients aren’t allowed to do so.

Testing of Marijuana Products

All marijuana products should be tested by a laboratory approved by the Environmental Laboratory Approval Program of the Department of Health. The testing process should check cannabinoid profile and other contaminants listed below-

  • Aflatoxin
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Aspergillus
  • Bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Escherichia coli (e. coli)
  • Growth regulators used during production
  • Klebsiella
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Mucor species
  • Nickel
  • Ochratoxin
  • Penicillium species
  • Pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides used during production
  • Pseudomonas, for products to be vaporized
  • Salmonella
  • Streptococcus
  • Thermophilic Actinomycetes species
  • Zinc
  • Any other substance as required by the Commissioner of Health

Covering it up—hope you get the answer for is medical marijuana legal in New York? The state allows NY residents and those residing temporarily for treatment to access marijuana for medical use from state-licensed dispensaries. 

Patients and caregivers need to register for ID cards with the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP). They can possess up to a 30-day supply of marijuana products. In New York, smoking/vaping marijuana is illegal in places where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Additionally, transporting marijuana outside the state, growing cannabis plants at home, and sale or gifting of any amount is illegal.

Talk to a licensed doctor to apply for your medical marijuana card in New York today!