How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NY

how to get medical marijuana in ny

With scientific evidence that smoking cannabis can help in promoting wellness, more & more people are interested in learning how to get a medical marijuana card in NY & other legalized states.

Medical marijuana can help in managing a wide range of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, etc. The herb contains amazing cannabinoids, which possess ultimate medicinal properties. THC and CBD are the two most important cannabinoids.

When cannabinoids are delivered to the body, they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). As a result, they change different bodily functions such as sleep, memory, mood, and appetite.

Read on to learn more about why you should introduce medical marijuana in your daily lifestyle,  cannabis legalization, consumption methods, and more. 

How Can Medical Marijuana Help in Improving Life

It Relieves Pain

One of the most important benefits of cannabis consumption is its ability to ease pain and related symptoms. The cannabinoids provide relaxation effects, reducing pain, improving focus, thus boosting productivity.

Although there’s a wide range of prescription medications for relieving pain, they are not safe. Some of the common side-effects of pain medications are—constipation, nausea, sedation, drowsiness, and slowed breathing.

Cannabis is a safe treatment for pain. Additionally, it’s less addictive as compared to opioids. A recent study found that the number of people using opioids was reduced to 25% in cannabis legalized states.

leg pain

 

It Reduces Anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental illness affecting about 40 million American adults. The most common symptoms of this condition are—excessive worrying, sleep problems, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, tense muscles, and panic attacks.

Consuming cannabis can help you boost memory, mood and promote sleep. This helps anxiety patients manage their symptoms completely.

Medical researchers have reported that CBD can help in promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which provides health benefits without causing high effects.

anxiety

It Promotes Sleep

Sleep is important for both mental and physical wellness. Sleep disorders such as insomnia can interfere with your relationships and the ability to function properly in daily life.

There are many reasons how cannabis can help you sleep better. It helps in reducing muscle & joint pain, which is one of the major contributors to poor sleep. Marijuana relaxes your body and mind, thus reducing stress and promoting sleep.

Sleep

 

It Boosts Productivity

According to a recent study, marijuana consumers are more socially active, creative and satisfied as compared to non-consumers. Here’re three ways cannabis can help in boosting productivity-

  • Reduces distractions. Artists, athletes, etc. agree with the fact that consuming marijuana helps them get into the zone where they can focus on one thing.
  • Increases creativity. The herb boosts creative thinking, thus generating more creative ideas and thoughts.
  • Boosts sleep. It’s clear that a well-rested body and mind will help you feel like working and concentrate on your work.

Some of the best cannabis strains for boosting productivity are—Harlequin, Haze, Super Sour Diesel, and Jack Herer.

It Promotes Mindfulness

Mindfulness is important. It’s the ability to deal with the present situation without changing it. Mindfulness is being present, and it’s often used for treating anxiety disorders, depression, and drug addiction.

According to a study performed by SPARC Medical Cannabis Dispensary in California, marijuana helped promote mindfulness in 8 participants who were drug and alcohol addicts. Researchers reported a significant decrease in cravings for drugs among participants.

Cannabis Legalization in the United States

As per federal regulations, cannabis is illegal in America. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 Drug along with heroin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Schedule 1 drugs are substances/chemicals, which have no accepted medical use and have high risks of abuse.

However, 33 states currently allow medical use of cannabis. These include Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, California, New York, etc.

Each state has its own rules and regulations for buying, possessing and using cannabis. Like, In New York, the list of MMJ qualification conditions include-

  • 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

Also Read- Learn About the New York Medical Marijuana Laws

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in NY

In New York, cannabis is legal for medical use. To access marijuana products from any state-licensed dispensary, you require a doctor’s recommendation. The recommendation should state that you want to use medical marijuana for alleviating your symptoms.

With telemedicine services, you can apply for your MMJ card online in a few minutes. Here’s the complete process on how to get a medical marijuana card online-

  • Sign up your account online
  • Talk to a licensed doctor through HIPAA-compliant software
  • Get your MMJ card in PDF format through the email

Note- a medical marijuana card in NY is not valid forever. You need to renew it before it expires to continue receiving medicinal benefits of cannabis.

Different Methods of Consumption of Cannabis

How cannabinoids is delivered to your system can influence marijuana’s effects on your body. Here are the common cannabis consumption methods-

Smoking

The most common methods of consuming medical marijuana. In this, dried cannabis flowers are smoked through a bong, pipe, or joint. It delivers immediate effects, which may last for 1-3 hours.

Vaping

A smokeless form of inhaling cannabis. It involves heating marijuana below its combustion point. You can feel the effects within thirty minutes, which last for a few hours.

Edibles

Cannabis edibles are available in different forms—candies, snacks, chocolate, pizza, sodas, etc. Thus, cannabinoids reach the cells through the liver. Usually, edibles take a bit more time to deliver their effects, which last longer than other consumption methods.

Topicals

Cannabis-infused lotions, balms, etc. can be applied directly to the skin to get more focused therapeutic effects. Onset time is 5 minutes to 2 hours while the effects last up to 12 hours.

Tinctures

Tinctures are available in different dosages and cannabinoid formulations. They are absorbed sublingually and are faster than edibles. Their effects last for a couple of hours.

Everyone has a different condition, thus may need to deliver cannabinoids to the body differently to receive full health benefits. Have an open discussion with a licensed doctor and seek professional help for what’s right for your condition.

Conclusion

Marijuana is a safe alternative to prescription medications. It promotes relaxation & sleep, reduces pain & anxiety, and boosts productivity. Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids, which work by binding to the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

There are many ways to deliver cannabinoids to the body. Smoking and vaping allows you to receive immediate effects of the herb. You can apply cannabis-infused balms or lotions directly to the skin to get more targeted effects. Edibles such as candies, pizza, etc. take a bit longer to deliver its effects.

Talk to an MMJ doctor, discuss your condition, and get advice for marijuana strains and consumption method.

Apply for your medical marijuana card in New York today!

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

New York Medical Marijuana Laws

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.