How to get a marijuana card in New York

Medical Marijuana Cards in New York - 2019

In this post, we’ll go over how to get a medical marijuana card in New York state. It’s a fairly straight forward process and as long as you qualify for the program there’s no reason you can’t get your very own New York medical marijuana card.

In order to save you the time of reading this entire article, let’s go over the major potential deal breaker — not having one of the medical conditions which qualify you to take part in the program.

New York Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

Before you go any further, you can’t get a New York medical marijuana card if you don’t qualify for the program. You may be eligible for medical marijuana in New York if you have been diagnosed with one or more of these severe, debilitating, or life-threatening conditions: If you have a condition for which an opioid prescription is an option you may opt to try medical marijuana instead. The regulations do not require you to try opioids first. One or more of the following associated or complicating conditions must also accompany the severe debilitating or life-threatening condition: Additional conditions may be added in the future by the Commissioner of Health, or via new legislation, but for now, this is the complete list of qualifying conditions. Individuals who qualify for the program but are either underage or incapable of consenting to medical treatment can be represented by a parent or guardian. Furthermore, if you have trouble getting around, you can designate up to two caregivers to obtain medical marijuana on your behalf, however, these caregivers must also register with the state.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In New York

The first step in the process of getting your New York medical marijuana card is to meet with a medical practitioner to discuss whether medical marijuana can help treat your condition.

However, you can’t go to just any doctor. Your practitioner must be registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program in order to approve you for the program.

Medical practitioners that are allowed to become certified by the state to recommend medical marijuana include doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, however, physician assistants must have a supervising physician who is registered with the program.

If your own doctor is not registered with the Department, you can pass along information regarding practitioner registration on the Department’s website: Practitioner Education for the Medical Marijuana Program.

If your doctor is not interested in becoming certified you can find a list of registered practitioners by clicking on the “Looking for a Registered Practitioner” button on the Medical Marijuana Program website’s home page. Also, some doctors will refer you to a registered practitioner.

Once you receive a certification from your doctor you can register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department’s online Patient Registration System. You’ll find detailed instructions on the registration process by visiting Information for Patients.

Upon approval — which is pretty much guaranteed, assuming all the paperwork is in order — within seven days you’ll be issued a Temporary Registry Identification Card. In order to use this temporary card, you’ll need to present your driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification card.  

You’ll still be able to purchase up to a thirty-day supply of medical marijuana with a temporary card.

To print your temporary card you can log into your account at and select “Health Applications” and then “Medical Marijuana Data Management System.” Then click on the menu icon (three white lines on the top-left side of the screen), and select the “My Temporary Card” option from the drop-down menu.

Temporary ID cards expire 30 days after the date of issue. The expiration date is printed on the card. You should receive your official card prior to that date. If you don’t receive your official registry ID card within two weeks, you can contact the Department at 1-844-863-9312 or to check on the status.

Although at the time of writing, the Department is waiving fees for all patients and caregivers, eventually there will be a non-refundable application fee of fifty dollars ($50).

How Much Medical Marijuana Are You Allowed To Purchase In New York State?

New York State’s medical marijuana program allows the following forms of cannabis:

  • Capsules, tablets, and lozenges containing THC or full spectrum cannabis oil
  • Metered liquid or oil preparations for vape pens or oral use
  • Dried flower (aka marijuana buds)
  • Skin creams
  • Transdermal patches

Unfortunately, New York’s medical marijuana laws prohibit the smoking of marijuana or concentrates as well as edibles (cannabis-infused candy, baked goods, beverages, etc.)

Moreover, your medical practitioner has the power to dictate not only which product you are allowed to purchase but also the brand you can buy, the administration method, the dosage, and any limitations on use.

The total amount of medical marijuana products that may be dispensed may not exceed a thirty-day supply, so you’ll have to buy it on a monthly basis.

Where To Buy Medical Marijuana In New York State

Once you are certified, you are allowed to purchase medical marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries.

Keep in mind that not all dispensaries carry all products or even the same products, so it’s important to contact your local dispensary before you pay them a visit.

Dispensaries are also allowed to offer delivery service.

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