On March 31, 2021, New York’s former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), making the Empire State the fifteenth to legalize Adult-Use (AKA ‘Recreational’) cannabis. Former Governor Cuomo anticipates as much as $350 million in annual tax revenues from full legalization, in one of the largest state markets in the U.S.
While you’re waiting the six months or more (see below) for legal weed in New York, you may also want to reconsider the current Medical Marijuana Program, especially with its expanded and liberal list of qualifying conditions:
- ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal Cord Injury with Spasticity
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
- Chronic Pain
- Pain normally prescribed opioids
- Substance Use Disorder
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Any other condition certified by the practitioner
Getting your New York Medical Weed Card is as Easy as 1-2-3!
The process of getting your legal medical marijuana card so you can buy legal medical cannabis in the state of New York has gotten easier over time. Below we outline the steps:
Step 1: Consult with a Licensed Healthcare Provider in New York
Talking to a licensed healthcare practitioner is the first step in getting approved for one of the qualifying medical marijuana conditions listed above. It’s fast, private, and professional with an online service, such as HelloMD. You can also choose to see a healthcare practitioner in person, although make sure ahead of time that the practitioner does medical marijuana recommendations. If you qualify for medical marijuana, your practitioner will give you a Medical Marijuana Program Certification Form.
Step 2: Register for Your Medical Marijuana ID Card
Sign up online and apply for your Medical Marijuana Program Registry ID Card in New York. Have your Medical Marijuana Program Certification Form, proof of New York residency, and valid New York State-issued ID handy.
If the patient is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must also submit a government-issued ID and a copy of the patient’s birth certificate.
You’ll be able to designate a Certified Caregiver who can buy medical marijuana on your behalf. (They will also need to register separately).
Print your temporary ID card. (Your permanent Registry ID card will arrive within a couple of weeks).
If you need easy-to-follow instructions, New York’s got you covered!
Step 3: Go Buy Weed at a New York Medical Marijuana Dispensary!
Visit one of New York’s ‘Registered Organizations’ (Medical Marijuana Dispensaries). Check websites for hours, policies and procedures, and acceptable methods of payment. Be sure and bring your Medical Marijuana Certification Form and your Registry ID. Use best practices and keep your cannabis products sealed and in original packaging until you get home. If you’re a renter, be sure you check your lease, many places do not allow for smoking of cannabis flower inside your residence!
Adult-Use Cannabis in New York – In the News
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who recently took over the office of Governor, has pledged to prioritize adult-use weed in New York, and expedite naming the Executive Director of the newly-established Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), as well as representative appointees to the Cannabis Control Board (CCB), (all of whom must then be approved by the New York Senate).
Lots of changes will follow including, within six months of the establishment of the OC and CCB, the repeal of the current Medical Marijuana Program, with Article 3 of the new cannabis law replacing it. At this point, the New York Department of Health will step out of the picture, turning the administration of cannabis programs over to the newly-established OCM.
- Some additional changes/expansions of New York’s Cannabis Program, once Article 3 is enacted:
- Smoking Weed will be allowed for Medical and Adult-Use!
- The smoking of medical cannabis will no longer be prohibited and whole cannabis flower will be an approved form of medical cannabis. (It’s about time.) Note: Smoking cannabis will still be prohibited in places like cars (even if parked), and near schools.
- More Caregivers will be allowed.
- Certified Medical Patients will be able to assign as many as five Caregivers (up from three).
Caregivers and Growing Your Own Weed in New York
Addition of ‘Designated Caregiver Facilities.’
An interesting change with the new law states that Certified Medical Patients (or their Certified Caregiver, in the case of a minor) will be able to certify caregiver function to a facility — like a hospital, adult care, or mental health center, or public or private school.
Representatives of the facility will then be able to assist in procuring and administering medical cannabis for the patient. In theory, this provision will provide patients with seamless access to their medical cannabis dosing, even as they transition to a temporary or permanent facility, or attend school.
Acceptable Medical purchase amounts will double.
Certified Medical Patients will be allowed to purchase a sixty (60) day supply — up from to a thirty (30) day supply, which is what is currently allowed. (These amounts are determined by the patient’s practitioner.)
Eventually, Certified Medical Patients and Recreational users in New York will be able to grow their own weed. Certified Medical patients may be authorized by their Licensed Practitioner to grow fifteen (or more) plants.
For more info, read the bill.
Need Your Medical Marijuana Card?
HelloMD can help you with online virtual medical consultation and get your medical card fast, easy and private.