New York is one of the many states in the US that has accepted the medical potential of cannabis and allowed patients to recover and get better with the help of the herb. So, if you are a citizen of New York who wishes to treat their medical condition with cannabis, the state law allows you to do it. But, it’s not that straightforward.
First, you will have to go through the legal formalities and even get a medical card. These are the necessary steps laid by the state and must be followed before you visit a medical dispensary and buy cannabis. So how do you do that?
Read along to learn everything about how to get a medical marijuana card in NY and access cannabis legally in the state.
Medical Marijuana Program New York
Each state that legally allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes establishes a medical marijuana program to overlook the rules and regulations for the same. The state of New York is no different. Every patient who seeks medical treatment using cannabis has to follow the provisions of the NY medical marijuana program.
So, as per the program, you can be a legal medical marijuana patient in the state, only if you are suffering from a medical condition approved by the state and also are qualified by a certified marijuana doctor to use the herb for the medical condition.
The qualifying medical conditions in New York are cancer, spasticity, epilepsy, ALS, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, Huntington’s disease, chronic pain, opioid or substance abuse disorder, cachexia, severe nausea, seizures and muscle spasms.
If you have any of the mentioned medical conditions, you can consult a doctor who can evaluate you and recommend medical cannabis to you.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NY?
After going through the provisions of the state medical marijuana program, your next step is to get a medical marijuana card. If you wish to use cannabis as a medical treatment option, it is essential for you to have a medical card. The process is simple and easy.
Here’s how to get a medical marijuana card in NY:
Step 1: Find a doctor or clinic.
Step 2: Apply for a 420 evaluation.
Step 3: Complete the consultation.
Step 4: Register with the state medical marijuana program.
Now let’s go through each step in detail.
Find a Doctor or Clinic
Your first step to getting a medical marijuana card in New York is to find a doctor who can write your recommendation. It can be your primary physician or an online doctor. However, in each case, the doctor must be licensed and registered with the state marijuana program. And above all, he or she should be willing to write you a recommendation.
You can connect with your primary physician or the nearest doctor for an in-person consultation or choose telemedicine for the same. Nowadays, you can easily find online clinics that offer legit recommendations for using medical marijuana.
When searching for online clinics, make sure to check the credentials of the clinic and the doctors. Try to verify the address of the clinic and also ensure that your online consultations are secured as per the HIPAA guidelines.
Apply for a 420 Evaluation
Once you are sure about the doctor or the online clinic, your next step is to apply for a 420 evaluation. It’s a process where the doctor evaluates your medical condition to determine whether you will benefit from a medical marijuana treatment or not.
For in-person visits, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor and be in the clinic on time. For online applications, all you need to do is fill a form. It consists of a list of questions regarding your medical condition and a waiver. Once you’re done filling the form, you will be connected to a doctor via video call for a consultation.
Complete Your Consultation
The doctors have a major role to play in the medical marijuana program. It is only with a certification of a legit doctor that any patient is legally allowed to buy and use cannabis in New York.
Additionally, it’s the responsibility of the doctor to ensure that every patient with a recommendation is qualified as per the laws of the state. This includes ensuring the patient is suffering from a medical condition approved by the state, is of legal age, etc.
Once you complete your consultation, the doctor will let you know if you qualify or not shortly after the evaluation. And if you qualify, the doctor will write your recommendation. In the case of online consultations, the recommendation will be sent to you via email on the same day.
Register With the State Medical Marijuana Program
Once you have received your recommendation, it’s not the end of the process. Now, you need to register with the medical marijuana program of the state and get your state-issued medical marijuana card to be able to use cannabis in NY.
First, you need to visit the state marijuana program website and create an account. The next step is to follow the registration process. Fill in the necessary details and use your recommendation letter, ID proof, residence proof and photograph to register in the program. The final step is to complete the payment and wait for approval. The state will send you a temporary copy by email and a permanent copy at your address.
Now, you can finally visit a dispensary and purchase the cannabis product you need. With the legalization of cannabis in the state of New York, you can also expect new changes in the future such as the inclusion of other medical conditions in the list of qualifying conditions and the right to grow your own cannabis at home. So, get your medical card today if you haven’t already.