• Qualifications for Medical Marijuana in New York

    When you need a medical marijuana card in New York, it’s important to understand the difference between state law and federal laws.1 You must have a certain serious illness that you need to treat, live in New York, and see a physician who is licensed to issue medical marijuana. In addition to these medical marijuana qualifications in New York, you must understand the different laws governing the use of the substance to stay within the law.

    How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

    The first step to obtaining a medical marijuana card is determining if you have a qualifying illness. For example, researchers are currently studying the use of medical marijuana to relieve pain caused by oral cancer.2

    The medical marijuana qualifications in New York include one or more of the following conditions3:

    • Chronic pain
    • Neuropathy
    • Any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed
    • HIV infection or AIDS
    • Cancer
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Epilepsy
    • Spinal injury with spasticity
    • Huntington’s disease

    If you have a severe life-threatening or debilitating condition, it must also be accompanied by one of the following listed conditions for you to obtain medical marijuana eligibility in New York:

    • Cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome
    • Chronic or severe pain
    • Severe nausea
    • Persistent or severe muscle spasms
    • Seizures
    • PTSD or opioid use disorder

    Talk to Your Doctor

    New York requires that physicians have a special certification to approve the use of medical marijuana.4 If you have one or more of the above conditions, talk with your practitioner about whether the use of medical marijuana in New York could help. If your physician is registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, they can give you a certificate for medical marijuana.

    After you get the certificate, you must register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department of Health’s online Patient Registration System. Individuals over 18 can register themselves, but individuals under 18 or patients who cannot consent to medical treatment need to be registered by someone 21 or over. Once you register, you will receive a Temporary Registry Identification Card that you can use with a government-issued photo identification card until you get your official registry identification card in the mail.

    Use Medical Marijuana in New York

    It’s also important to understand state laws regarding the consumption of medical marijuana. Even once you receive your official registry identification card, you must follow certain state laws, including:

    • Not consuming the medicine in a “public place”5
    • Not smoking the marijuana flower
    • Not consuming edibles
    • Not receiving more than a 30-day supply

    Continue to Learn the Qualifications

    If you’re considering using medical marijuana to treat a life-threatening condition, continue to learn the laws in New York and how to stay within them. Talk to your physician about what treatment plan is best for you, and start to manage your pain by using medical marijuana in New York. Contact us today if you have any questions about medical marijuana.

    Reference List:

    1. Truumees, E. The Rules for Opioid Prescribing are Critical and Confusing. AAOS. https://www.aaos.org/AAOSNow/2018/Mar/YourAAOS/youraaos01/. Published March 2018. Accessed January 3, 2019.

    2. Medication for Oral Cancer. NYU Langone Health. https://nyulangone.org/conditions/oral-cancer/treatments/medication-for-oral-cancer. Accessed January 3, 2019.

    3. Frequently Asked Questions. New York State Department of Health. https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/faq.htm. Updated December 2018. Accessed January 3, 2019.

    4. Wukovits, B. Coping With Pain Caused by a Chronic Disease. HSS. https://www.hss.edu/conditions_coping-with-pain-chronic-disease.asp. Published March 23, 2018. Accessed January 3, 2019.

    5. Becoming a Patient in New York. Americans for Safe Access. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/becoming_a_patient_in_new_york. Accessed January 3, 2019.

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