New York State Medical Marijuana FAQs

Medical marijuana is a relatively new thing in New York State. Now that it is legal, thousands of patients across the Empire State are scrambling to find information. Some want to know if they are eligible while others are looking for an approved dispensary. There is a lot to know about medical marijuana in New York.

Below is a selection of some of the most frequently asked questions about medical marijuana. If you need help finding a registered practitioner or a local dispensary, you can check the state Department of Health website or an organization known as Veriheal. Both are experts on New York medical marijuana.

Can anyone use medical marijuana in New York?

No, medical marijuana laws in New York are very specific in terms of what conditions are covered. The list is comparatively small. They include life-threatening and debilitating conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

The state health commissioner can add to the current list of eligible conditions as needed. Ultimately, however, a patient’s doctor has the final say.

Can every doctor in the state approve medical marijuana use?

Again, the answer here is also no. Doctors must register with the state in order to issue medical marijuana certificates. In order to be certified, they must also go through a training program that ensures they are qualified. Growing numbers of doctors across the state are registering. However, you might not find one in your local area.

How do I obtain a certificate?

Obtaining a medical marijuana certificate is as easy as seeing a registered doctor and undergoing a thorough examination. The doctor will look at your entire health history as well as your present state of health. You will be asked a number of questions to better ascertain whether or not medical marijuana is appropriate for you.

Does a certificate allow me to buy medical marijuana?

A certificate alone does not allow you to buy medical marijuana. You must also have a state medical marijuana card. You can get a card only after obtaining a doctor’s certificate. Getting a card is as easy as registering online. If your application is approved, you will be issued a temporary card that you can download from the state website. Your permanent card will arrive in the mail.

Please note that you must present both your ID card and certificate at the time of purchase. Dispensaries are not allowed to sell you medical marijuana if you are missing one or both documents.

Can others buy marijuana for me?

New York medical marijuana law does allow purchases by up to two designated caregivers. Those designated caregivers must also register with the state before they can obtain medical marijuana. Designated caregiver ID cards run concurrently with the patient’s medical marijuana card and doctor’s certificate. When the certificate expires, so do all of the ID cards associated with it.

How much marijuana can I buy at one time?

The law in New York stipulates that dispensaries can only sell up to a 30-day supply of marijuana at any one time. There may be exceptions as noted on the doctor certificate, but these are few and far between. The general rule is a 30-day supply and no more.

Can I grow my own marijuana?

A medical marijuana card in New York represents your approval to obtain, transport, possess, and administer medical marijuana for an approved condition. It is not a license to grow your own marijuana or act as a dispensary. If you want to grow or sell, you must apply for a separate license.

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