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November 05, 2019 0 Comments

Understanding New York Medical Marijuana Laws- Is Weed Legal in NY?

New York medical marijuana laws came into effect after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed New York’s Medical Marijuana Bill into law in July 2014. The law, which is now popularly referred to as the Compassionate Care Act (S7923), protects patients as well as caregivers after obtaining a registry identification card issued by a licensed or registered physician. 

New York became the 23rd state to introduce marijuana legalization for patients with debilitating medical conditions. And all of this happened in the presence of Amanda Houser. A patient that was suffering from Dravet Syndrome that caused her to experience multiple seizures every day. Patients like her could now access medical marijuana and alleviate their symptoms without fearing any legal hassles anymore. 

Medical Marijuana Laws

What Are the New York Medical Marijuana Laws?

Precisely the following laws or acts are working in the state of New York concerning the use of medical marijuana. Here are the laws that govern all the rules and regulations concerning marijuana legalization in New york.

AB 6357

This bill governs the “medical use of marijuana.” It gives you an idea of the laws of New York concerning the use of medical marijuana by patients. And how they can get access to different products. Patients often get confused about “Is weed legal in New York?” irrespective of the fact that different sets of laws guard the use of medical marijuana. 

I am taking you through the guidelines issued by the Department of Health, New York. Make sure you go through the rules clearly to avoid any legal issues. 

Senate Bill S6579A

As per this law, residents across the state can now smoke or possess around 2 ounces of marijuana without any criminal implications. This changes the position of marijuana possession from a low-level misdemeanor to a non-criminal violation. But, there is a glitch, you can receive a summon that might result in fines. A penalty might be as less as $50 or a max of $200. 

New York Marijuana Penalties Table

Source 

How to Become a Qualifying Medical Marijuana Patient in New York?

There are a lot of complexities to becoming a legal marijuana patient in New York. It does not end with doctor recommendations. Let’s delve into some more information concerning the New York medical marijuana laws and regulations.

What Medical Conditions Will Make You Eligible For Medical Marijuana in New York?

Not every medical condition is enlisted among the qualifying conditions. If you have one or more severe debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions such as:

  1. Cancer
  2. HIV/AIDS
  3. ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  4. Parkinson’s Disease
  5. Huntington’s Disease
  6. MS
  7. Spinal Cord Injury including Spasticity
  8. Epilepsy
  9. IBD
  10. Neuropathy
  11. PTSD
  12. Chronic pain (Only the ones that degrade your ability to conduct your daily life activities or your health as a whole)
  13. Or any other debilitating conditions including one or more of the complications such as Cachexia, severe or chronic pain, nausea, seizures, Opioid use disorder, persistent muscle spasms. 

Medical Marijuana in New York

How to Register For a Medical Marijuana Card?

  1. The first step to entering a medical marijuana program is finding a registered practitioner. After finding one, ask him/her to certify you as a qualifying patient. 
  2. Once you are done with that, login https://my.ny.gov/ and create an ID first. Follow the instructions using this link https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/docs/my_ny_gov_instructions.pdf
  3. Then click on the icon referring to “ Health Applications,” and then click on the “Medical Marijuana Data Management System.” There is a $50 fee as per the Compassionate Care Act. However, for now, the Department is waiving the prices for all caregivers and qualified patients. 
  4. Patients are given a chance to designate at least two caregivers. Once your registration is processed, look for the caregiver’s enrollment in the next part of the article.
  5. After the approval, the department will issue a temporary registry identification card that can be used with the government-issued photo identification until you get your final ID card via mail. At the time of renewal, the patient and caregiver must register at the same time. 
  6. Patients must always carry their ID cards and certifications whenever purchasing their medications. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Marijuana Use in New York

One can find patients looking for several queries concerning “how much weed is legal in New York?” or “what weed is legal in New York?” We have enlisted some of the vital queries tp help you with all those questions. 

What are the forms of medical marijuana products allowed in New York?

The following are the approved forms of medical marijuana available in New York, but they are are not limited to just that. They include solid or semi-solid dosage forms like capsules, tablets, or lozenges, oils for vaping or for oral use, ground preparations or marijuana plants, topicals, and transdermals. Edibles are prohibited as per New York medical marijuana laws. 

What Must a Practitioner Certificate Include?

The certifying practitioner must include all the information such as the approved form of medical marijuana, its administration method, any limitations associated with it. If there is a recommended dosage, include that as well in the certificate. 

How much Weed is Legal in New York?

Registered organizations can dispense not more than 30- day supply of medical marijuana to any certified patient or designated caregiver. You can get the information about registered organizations by clicking here.

How to Buy Medical Marijuana at Registered Organizations?

Certified patients or designated caregivers must always carry their registry ID cards along with certifications to possess or carry the approved marijuana products. Make sure you don’t travel with these products outside the state. Caregivers need to carry their registry ID cards along with their patient’s certifications to dispense any approved products. 

How to Register as a Designated Caregiver in New York?

Any designated caregiver needs to register with the Department of Health to receive a registry identification card. They can possess, deliver, transfer, transport, or administer marijuana products to their patients using that. As per the New York medical marijuana laws, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps to complete your registration process. But, before anything, patients must designate you as their caregiver within the Medical Marijuana Data Management System. Once that is done, you have to follow the exact steps as one does for applying as a patient. 

If you are running a caregiving facility, you can still register as a designated caregiver. The Department of Health allows the following facilities as designated caregivers. 

  1. General hospital operating as per Article 28 of Public Health Law
  2. An adult care facility that is operating as per Title 2 of Article7 of the Social Services Law. 
  3. A mental Health hygiene facility or a residential treatment facility for children or youth in accordance with Article 31 of Mental Hygiene Law.
  4. A private or public school. 

How to Register as a Practitioner With The Medical Marijuana Program?

As per the 10 NYCRR §1004.1(a), if you wish to issue medical marijuana certifications, you must:

  1. Be qualified to treat patients with one or more medical conditions. For that, you must have a valid Federal Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 certification. 
  2. Be practicing medicine as per Article 131 of the NYS Education Law. Or be certified as a nurse practitioner as per Article 139 in the same law. You can also be licensed physician assistance as per Article 131-B of the NYS Education Law. 
  3. Have completed a course approved by the Commissioner of the Department of Health. 
  4. Be registered with the New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program.

You can look for the relevant information for registering as a designated practitioner by clicking here. 

Summary of New York Medical Marijuana Laws- Compassionate Care Act

Patients

  1. A registered health care practitioner must certify them.
  2. They must have a qualifying medical condition (debilitating or life-threatening).

Practioner 

  1. Report all the information to the Department of Health.
  2. Must certify medical marijuana within limits.
  3. They can never certify themselves as patients.

Caregivers

  1. Must be registered with the Department of Health.
  2. They must be above the age of 21 years.
  3. Cannot help more than five designated patients.