1. What conditions make me eligible to get medical marijuana?
You may be eligible for medical marijuana if you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following severe debilitating or life threatening conditions: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, Huntington’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain (as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)), pain that degrades health and functional capability as an alternative to opioid use or substance use disorder. The severe debilitating or life-threatening condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms, PTSD or opioid use disorder.
2. What is the first step to obtaining medical marijuana?
The first step is speaking with your treating practitioner about whether the medical use of marijuana is appropriate for your condition. If your practitioner determines it is an appropriate treatment for you and he or she is registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, he or she may issue you a certification for medical marijuana.
3. How can I find a registered practitioner?
Patients seeking access to medical marijuana should first go to their treating practitioner. If a patient’s treating practitioner is not already registered with the Department to certify patients for medical marijuana, information regarding practitioner registration can be found on the Department’s website: Practitioner Education for the Medical Marijuana Program.
Patients may access a list of registered practitioners by clicking on the “Looking for a Registered Practitioner” button on the Medical Marijuana Program website’s home page. A patient’s treating practitioner can also make a referral to a registered practitioner using the Medical Marijuana Data Management System located within the Department’s Health Commerce System (HCS).
4. Can additional medical conditions be added to the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana?
Additional conditions may be added by the Commissioner of Health, or they may be added in legislation.
5. What forms and dosage amounts of medical marijuana are allowed?
The Commissioner must approve any form of medical marijuana. Approved forms include, but are not limited to: solid or semi-solid dosage forms (such as capsules, tablets, and lozenges), metered liquid or oil preparations (for vaporization or oral administration), metered ground plant preparations, and topicals and transdermal patches. Under the law, smoking is not permitted and the regulations prohibit edibles. Please contact the registered organization directly to find out more about the products they have available.
The patient’s certifying practitioner must include the following information on the patient’s certification: the authorized brand and form of the approved medical marijuana, the administration method, and any limitations on the use of approved medical marijuana product. If a practitioner has a recommendation regarding dosage, it should also be included on the certification, although a recommendation on dosage is not required. Moreover, the total amount of product that may be dispensed may not exceed a thirty-day supply.
1. What do I do after I receive a certification from my registered practitioner?
Once you possess a certification from a registered practitioner, you must register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department’s online Patient Registration System. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, including how to register on behalf of a minor or an individual who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment, by visiting: Information for Patients
After your registration is approved, you will be issued a Temporary Registry Identification Card, which may be used in conjunction with a government issued photo identification card until you receive your registry identification card in the mail. Dispensing facility locations can be found by clicking here: Registered Organizations
2. May I register on behalf of a minor or person who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment?
Yes. If the applicant for a registry identification card is under the age of eighteen (18) or a person who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment, the application must be submitted by an appropriate person over twenty-one (21) years of age. The applicant must designate at least one, and up to two, caregivers who must be among the following: (i) a parent or legal guardian of the certified patient; (ii) a person designated by a parent or legal guardian; or (iii) an appropriate person approved by the Department upon a sufficient showing that no parent or legal guardian is available or appropriate. The designated caregiver must also register in order to receive a registry ID card of their own in order to purchase the medical marijuana on behalf of the patient. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, by visiting: Information for Patients.
3. How do I register with the program as a caregiver?
A patient who is registered with the program must first designate you as a caregiver during the patient registration process. After the patient’s registration has been approved by the Department, the caregiver(s) must register with the Department. The patient will have access to instructions for caregiver registration. To register with the Department as a designated caregiver, you must be a resident of New York State and have a valid New York State Driver’s License or New York State Non-Driver ID card. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, by visiting: Designated Caregiver Information
4. Do I have to pay to register as a patient or as a caregiver?
There is a non-refundable application fee of fifty dollars ($50) that the Department is currently waiving for all patients and their designated caregivers.
5. When can I expect my registry identification card to arrive?
After your registration is approved you will be issued a Temporary Registry Identification Card Registry Identification Card, which may be used in conjunction with a government issued photo identification until you receive your registry identification card in the mail. Please allow approximately seven business days to receive your Patient or Caregiver Registry ID Card. Dispensing facility locations can be found by clicking here: Registered Organizations
6. Can I still register if a practitioner will not provide a certification?
No, a patient may not register without a certification from a registered practitioner.
1. Where can I find basic information about each Registered Organization?
Please visit the following link for information, including links to the Registered Organizations’ websites: Registered Organizations
2. Which dispensing facilities may I use?
A certified patient may receive medical marijuana products from any dispensing facility of any Registered Organization in New York State. For a list of locations in New York, please visit: Registered Organizations
3. Will every dispensing facility sell the same types of Medical Marijuana?
No. Please contact the registered organization directly to learn more about the products they have available. Contact information may be found here: Registered Organizations Registered organizations must make available at least one brand that has an equal ratio of THC to CBD, and one brand with a low-THC-high-CBD ratio). Each Registered Organization will also offer other products that have varying ratios of THC to CBD.
4. When are dispensing facilities open?
The hours of operation for the dispensing facilities vary. Please contact or review the websites of the Registered Organizations for their dispensing facilities’ hours of operation by clicking here: Registered Organizations.
5. How much medical marijuana can I get at a time?
Registered Organizations may dispense up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana to a certified patient or designated caregiver, pursuant to any recommendations or limitations made by the practitioner on the certification. Registered Organizations report their medical marijuana dispensing to the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database, so that prescribers may review their patients’ controlled substance histories and make informed treatment decisions.
6. What should I do if the approved medical marijuana product is not helping me?
Work with your certifying practitioner or a dispensing facility pharmacist to determine if a change in product, change in dose, or discontinuation of the product is appropriate.
7. What should I do if I think I’m having an adverse reaction to the approved medical marijuana product?
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. If you believe you are experiencing an adverse event that is not life-threatening from the approved medical marijuana product, contact your practitioner.
8. What should I do with expired/unwanted medical marijuana products?
Certified patients or their designated caregivers should dispose of expired or unwanted medical marijuana products by adding water to the medical marijuana and then dirt, coffee grounds, ashes or another undesirable substance, prior to disposal in the trash, to avoid accidental or intentional misuse of the product.
9. What if I need assistance obtaining medical marijuana from a dispensing facility because of my condition?
During the patient registration process, a certified patient may designate up to two (2) caregivers who may obtain medical marijuana on his or her behalf. After the patient’s application for registration is approved, the designated caregiver(s) must also register with the Department. Detailed information on designating and becoming a caregiver is available here: Information for Patients
Registered organizations may also offer a delivery service. Please contact the registered organizations directly to determine if delivery services are offered in your area.
10. Can I use my out-of-state medical marijuana identification card to purchase medical marijuana in New York State?
No. Only certified patients with a New York State registry identification card may purchase approved medical marijuana products in New York State.
11. How will the Department ensure the quality of the products produced by the Registered Organizations?
The Department requires independent laboratory testing for every brand of product to be tested for any contaminants and to ensure product consistency. The Department’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory will perform initial testing and analysis of final medical marijuana products until independent laboratories receive certification from the New York State Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).
1. How did the New York State Department of Health Commissioner determine prices for Medical Marijuana?
Registered Organizations submitted to the Department their costs to manufacture, market and distribute products, and to certify that the information provided was accurate, complete and current. The Commissioner then determined the reasonableness of the proposed prices and approved them as the maximum price per dose each Registered Organization may charge.
2. Are prices for Medical Marijuana the same at all of the Registered Organizations?
No, prices vary among Registered Organizations.
3. Will Medical Marijuana prices change?
The Department’s approved prices are in effect for the entire period of the Registered Organization’s registration, until July 31, 2019. Registered organizations may charge less than the approved prices, so prices may vary. At the conclusion of the first year of the registration period, or beforehand based on documented exceptional circumstances, however, the Registered Organizations may request a price modification. In addition, if a Registered Organization adds a new product, it must submit revised production costs and other relevant data, along with the proposed price for the new product(s) to the Department for review and approval.
4. Where may patients find the prices of Medical Marijuana products?
Patients should contact Registered Organizations directly to obtain final prices, taking into account the dosing recommendations of their practitioner. The total amount a patient pays depends upon a patient’s individual dosing needs and the resultant total quantity purchased.
5. Does New York State provide a discounted program for certified patients who cannot afford Medical Marijuana?
The Compassionate Care Act does not mandate a discounted Medical Marijuana pricing program, but allows Registered Organizations to provide discounted products. Some Registered Organizations may offer reduced prices for qualifying certified patients.