How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York State

New York is currently in the works to be one of the next states to legalize cannabis for recreational use, but for now, qualifying medical patients can still gain access to cannabis thanks to the Compassionate Care Act passed in 2014. According to legislation, patients who wish to use medicinal marijuana must have one of many pre-determined qualifying conditions and work with a doctor to register with the New York Marijuana Registry. The process for qualifying for applying and registering for a medical was originally time-consuming, but now other options exist to help qualifying patients easily get their medical marijuana card in New York State.

Benefits to Getting Your New York Medical Marijuana Card

Currently, registration with the New York Marijuana Registry is mandatory and is the only way to access legal cannabis. However, there are still many benefits to getting a medical card that applies to patients who use cannabis therapeutically. Holding a medical card in New York allows you to access registered dispensaries in order to purchase high-quality cannabis products. Plus, a medical cannabis card will protect qualifying patients from criminal charges or arrests for possession of marijuana. Furthermore, possessing a medical card and shopping at a registered dispensary helps medical marijuana patients access cannabis at low and consistent prices.

Qualifying Conditions in New York State

According to legislation, New York has a particularly broad list of qualifying conditions when compared to other legal states. In the state of New York, a patient can obtain a medical marijuana card if they suffer from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Chronic Pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Neuropathies
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Any other condition an opioid could be prescribed for

Non-Qualifying Conditions in New York State

There is some research regarding the use of cannabis for other conditions, but New York legislation does not consider the following as qualifying conditions. Keep in mind that these conditions and more may qualify if they meet the requirements for an opioid prescription, and it is ultimately up to the recommending doctor to determine your eligibility. Non-qualifying conditions include:

  • Asthma
  • Bipolar Disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Type 1 and 2 Diabetes
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Severe Anxiety
  • Clinical Depression
  • MRSA
  • Hypertension
  • Tourette’s Syndrome 

How Does the Medical Marijuana Card Registry in New York Work?

The medical marijuana registry in New York is run by the state and aims to allow patients to reap the benefits of a medical card while protecting their personal health information. With your medical marijuana ID card, local dispensaries can use your unique identification number to verify your qualifying medical marijuana status. Then, they can apply applicable discounts for you. Because the medical marijuana registry is protected by HIPAA guidelines, your personal information and health profile are protected.

How to Quickly Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Online

In order to obtain a medical marijuana card, a resident of New York must have a recommendation from a qualifying physician. Originally, patients would need to visit one of these doctors in-office. Thanks to updated legislation, the state of New York now allows qualifying patients to easily obtain a medical marijuana recommendation online. The easiest and quickest option for qualifying patients it to apply for their New York medical card through Nugg MD.

There, you can get an online appointment with a health professional for a full assessment. It helps to have your medical records and identification information handy when you apply, as it will likely be necessary during your assessment. If you are deemed a good match for medical marijuana, the attending physician will give you the necessary recommendation.

Then, NuggMD will supply you with an identification number that can be used immediately at a medical dispensary. Further, medical marijuana patients can get help choosing a cannabis product, finding a qualified dispensary, or with other related concerns.

Soon after your NuggMD appointment, you'll receive a permanent card in the mail. The card only expires when the doctor's recommendation expires (1 year for NuggMD Practitioners)  and can be used to legally purchase medical marijuana at any medical dispensary in New York State.

Other Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York State

If you choose not to quickly apply online for your New York Medical card, you can still follow the traditional route to apply for a medical card. In addition to having one of the many qualifying conditions, medical marijuana patients must follow these steps in order to qualify for a medical marijuana card in New York:

  1. Patients must get a recommendation from an approved physician.
  2. Patients must be 18 or older. Younger patients must have an approved caregiver register for them.
  3. Patients must be residents of New York and prove residency with a state-issued ID with current address. Other documents may be necessary to prove residency during the application process.
  4. Patient’s must create an account with the NY.gov registry to submit an application. The application fee is $50 per patient or designated caregiver.

If the application is approved, the patient will receive a temporary ID number through their official my.NY.gov account. Later, the permanent medical marijuana card will be sent to the address listed on the application.

Regardless of the method you use, the benefits of obtaining a medical card are plentiful for medicinal users, especially those who frequently use cannabis to manage their symptoms. Obtaining your New York medical card is quick and easy, and can save you a lot of money and hassle in the future.

Apply for your MMJ card in New York State here.