In 2014, New York became the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana. But what it adopted is a rigorous Medical Marijuana Program, and its laws and regulations are pretty much the same as other states in the country. Individuals who want to get a New York medical marijuana card have to go through a daunting process that is equally time-consuming and costly.
Fortunately, it changed considerably in 2017, when NuggMD, a company based in California, utilized the city’s State Senate Bill 2405. Since then, New York residents can get qualified for the city’s medical marijuana card in less than 30 minutes.
Here is some essential information to get you up to speed on how to apply for a duly-approved medical marijuana card.
What is a Medical Marijuana Card
Medical marijuana utilizes the marijuana plant or its component as a treatment for specific health conditions or illnesses. Unlike recreational marijuana, medical marijuana is used purely for medicinal or therapeutic purposes.
The state issues a New York medical marijuana card to an eligible patient upon approval by a licensed physician. The card allows the patient to purchase, own, or cultivate marijuana for medical purposes only. These cards are generally released only in a state or country where medical marijuana is recognized.
The card goes by different names, including medical marijuana (MMJ), medical cannabis card, or medical marijuana identification (MMID). Generally, a patient needs to pay a certain amount to obtain the card.
Most states that have medical marijuana card programs, including New York, offer the card with a validity of up to one year. A renewal process is available, which adopts the same policy as obtaining a brand-new card. Hence, the patient needs to file their application, including the fees, annually.
The New York State Medical Marijuana Program specified the types of patients who are qualified to receive the card. Generally, these are patients with severe and fatal clinical conditions.
The qualifying medical conditions include cancer, AIDS or HIV, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and Parkinson’s disease. Whereas qualifying severe or fatal conditions includes seizures, chronic pain, severe nausea, and cachexia.
Physicians may also recommend the medicinal plant as an opioid substitute for pain relievers to help suppress the current opioid epidemic.
How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in New York
Here are three easy steps to get the medical marijuana card in the state.
Step 1: Get in touch with a state-registered physician or healthcare provider
The initial step is to schedule an appointment with a health practitioner licensed by the state’s Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Patients have the option to set up their meeting with the doctor either online or by visiting a physical clinic. They are likewise required to prepare and bring their complete medical records to facilitate their application.
Step 2: Register as a medical patient with the state’s official Medical Marijuana Program
Eligible patients must be diagnosed with any of the qualifying medical conditions to proceed. The state-registered practitioner provides them the necessary certification as proof of their diagnosis.
Afterward, they can proceed to register with the Medical Marijuana Program via the online Patient Registration System of the state. Patients can do this process either through the doctor’s office or the state’s official website.
Step 3: Receive your card via mail
Once they have submitted their application without any errors or issues, approved patients may need to wait for about 7 to 10 working days before their cards arrive in the mail.
Applying for a medical marijuana card is getting more accessible, thanks to the increasing number of online marijuana dispensaries. Patients who do need medical marijuana medication can now have the confidence to obtain medical marijuana safely and legally.