New York residents may now be eligible for a state medical cannabis card. The card can give access to cannabis, which could help thousands of people suffering from certain illnesses and conditions. Until recently, New York was known for having one of the most stringent medical marijuana systems in the country.
Its laws were no different than those of any other state that had legalized marijuana, but the process was cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. However, that changed dramatically in 2017 when NuggMD, a California-based startup, took advantage of New York’s State Senate Bill 2405.
This law permitted the use of electronic information and communication technology by telehealth providers to deliver healthcare services such as patient evaluation, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and/or self-management.
It is now possible to be approved by a trained physician in less than half an hour without ever leaving your house! This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining a New York medical marijuana card.
Proof of Your Residency in New York
The first step is to discover whether you fit the program’s residence requirements. To be eligible for New York’s medicinal marijuana program, you must be able to verify your current residency in the state. You must submit one of the following forms of proof of residency:
- ID number from your New York State Driver’s License or Non-Driver ID Card.
- A copy of your government-issued ID card with your name and New York State address.
- A copy of a utility bill or other evidence proving your residency that was issued within the last two months. Your name and address must be included in the document.
- A copy of your most recent lease or comparable document proving your residency in New York State.
- Other DOH-approved papers contain sufficient information to demonstrate proof of residency in New York State.
Temporary residents getting medical care in New York for a qualifying medical condition may verify residency by producing a lease, utility bill, hospital bill, or other documents approved by the Department of Health.
Determine Your Eligibility
In mid-2019, cannabis was partially decriminalized in New York State. But that doesn’t mean everybody can go around with joints and have a good time at the park. (It should be noted that public consumption is still forbidden.)
Suppose you do not have a debilitating disease, opioid abuse, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or any other serious condition that can affect your health and ability to operate daily and are not eligible for a medical marijuana card in New York.
In that case, you are unlikely to be given the legal right to use medical marijuana. So if you have one of these qualifying conditions and believe cannabis could significantly improve your quality of life, then read on.
If you can show that you live in New York and have a qualifying medical condition, the next step is to receive a patient certification from a participating physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner. When discussing medicinal marijuana with your care provider, be honest about your health situation and explain why you believe medical marijuana will benefit you.
If they agree to accept you into the program, they must complete a patient certification form on your behalf. Please keep in mind that the doctor or nurse must be licensed in New York and registered with the medical marijuana program in order to approve you.
You will be given a “Patient ID” once the doctor has approved you. This number, together with the information provided by Veriheal, will be used to register with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and complete your application online with the state.
Once logged in, go to the Health Applications tab and click on the “Medical Marijuana Management System” link. The website will walk you through the process of registering a patient or caregiver.
A medical cannabis card application fee in New York is $50; however, as part of the Compassionate Care Act, the charge is currently waived for patients and their permitted caregivers.
After you have been accepted and registered with the New York DOH, you will receive your New York medical marijuana card in the mail in 1-2 weeks. You can then start purchasing.
If you are authorized, a window containing a temporary medical cannabis card will appear after you complete your online medical cannabis card application and click submit. A printout of this temporary card, coupled with your ID, can be used to purchase medical cannabis for up to 30 days after it is granted. Within 7-10 days, you will receive a permanent copy of the medical cannabis ID card in the mail.
Renewing a Medical Marijuana Card in New York
In New York, your MMJ card is valid for a period of 12 months. Patients must renew their cards on an annual basis, which is now easier than ever thanks to a variety of online options. It allows you to renew your license without having to make an appointment with your doctor.
You can instead sign in to your current account and answer a few basic questions. Their physician will next determine whether or not to renew your referral. If they do, you will be emailed a copy of the renewal within 24-48 hours. If you do not renew on time, you must restart the process from the beginning.
Another option is to visit your doctor for a consultation in order to obtain the renewal certification. Once you have it, go to my.ny.gov and complete the renewal process.
Since its inception, New York’s MMJ program has been regarded as one of the most stringent in the country. However, things have now taken a dramatic turn. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will substantially extend the medical marijuana program.
It intends to raise the number of MMJ patients, introduce more qualifying ailments, and allow the use of smokable marijuana. The MRTA also makes recreational cannabis legal. Adult-use marijuana, on the other hand, is not now available for purchase, which means you’ll still need an MMJ card to use the plant legally in New York.