According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 36% of people in New York use marijuana for medical and non-medical reasons. More than 19% of these users use marijuana strictly for medical purposes.
The benefits of medical marijuana have been discussed and proved, leading to its legalisation in many states. While many people have benefitted from its legalisation in New York since 2016, many are still confused about where to begin their journey.
Here is your step-by-step guide to acquiring and maintaining your medical marijuana card in New York.
1. Work with a Physician
If you are wondering where to begin your journey to use medical marijuana, the first step is to get in touch with a licensed to-practice physician in New York. A certified physician, physician’s assistant, or practitioner nurse working with the medical marijuana program can certify if your health condition or illness meets the criteria to become a medical marijuana cardholder in New York.
Many people consider visiting their family healthcare provider for this purpose. However, it is important to remember that they may not be able to help you if they are not registered with the New York medical marijuana program. Hence, you must search for a licensed professional for the job.
Luckily, the state of New York also accepts certifications given by a telemedicine provider. You can schedule a meeting with them as per your availability. In either case, a certified physician can help you acquire a medical marijuana card for the following health conditions.
- Seizure Disorder
- HIV infection or AIDS
- Severe Muscle Spasms
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Any of the above health conditions and illnesses can make your certification process easier. You can discuss the specifications with your certified physician, and they can certify your need for a medical marijuana card in New York.
2. Receive Your Certification
Once your certified physician affirms that your health condition qualifies for getting a medical marijuana card in New York, they can complete your certification and upload it to the Medical Cannabis Data Management System for approval.
In the meantime, you will also receive a signed copy of the certification in hard form. This certification can help you get to the next step- filling in your online application. The online application form will require the practitioner certification from you.
Remember that all applicants for the medical marijuana program in New York must be 18 years of age or older. An application for a New York State Registry ID is automatically declined if you provide false information on the online application and is also punishable under the New York Penalty Law.
3. Complete Your Application
After your healthcare physician submits your certification, you can take the physical copy home and head to my.ny.gov to create an account. Once your account is created, you can proceed with completing your application online. You can look for the practitioner certification on the copy provider by your healthcare physician.
The most unique detail about getting your medical marijuana card in New York is that residents and non-residents can apply for the Registry ID. Both types of aspirants have a different plan of action to prove their identity.
The New York residents can attest to their identity with the identification number on their driver’s licence issued by the state. However, the non-residents must provide proof of where they are currently receiving their treatment and proof of temporary residence in New York, such as a copy of the lease or a utility bill.
4. Assign a Caregiver
Many patients have mobility issues or cannot fill their prescriptions due to other restrictions. A certified patient can designate a caregiver during their registration to fill their prescription and administer medication. A process must be followed for a person to become a patient’s caregiver.
You can log into your patient’s account at my.ny.gov and choose Medical Cannabis Data Management System. Select the Patient or Caregiver title to enable the title and go to “Manage Caregivers.” You can designate up to five caregivers. Select Add a Caregiver to register a new caregiver and submit the registration.
5. Get Your Digital Medical Cannabis Card
Once you submit your application and it is approved, you will receive an email containing a cannabis card with a validity of 30 days. You can print this card and use it for a given amount of time. Most applicants from New York receive a mail with their medical marijuana card within 7-10 calendar days.
Your medical marijuana card will have your or your caregiver’s name along with the holder’s date of birth, contact details, Registry ID barcode, expiration date, and certification number. The rest of the information is kept confidential as per the New York bill A06357.
This bill exempts medical marijuana patients’ information from disclosure. It means that your sensitive medical information will also be protected from being shown without your consent. Hence, patients certified for the medical marijuana program in New York can feel confident and comfortable.
6. Renew in Time
As of now, New York does not issue medical marijuana cards to patients. However, patients who are a part of the program before 2023 can renew their medical marijuana card i
It is important to remember that you will need to see a doctor licensed by the state to renew your certification. You can see the list of health practitioners who can certify you for the medical marijuana program on the official website of the New York State Department of Health. You can also find a list of telehealth service providers to cut down any restrictions.
The most amazing part for many medical marijuana cardholders is that there is no renewal cost since the state does not issue marijuana cards any longer. You may only need to cater to the consultation fee to healthcare providers for recertification.