Understanding New York’s Medical Marijuana Law

New York's medical marijuana law took effect in 2014. It allows licensed health care practitioners to recommend the use of cannabis for patients with a variety of certain serious illnesses.

There seems to be a vast majority of the population that is unaware of the very rules and regulations that their home state continues to update and change. One see most frequently would be is Medical Marijuana Legal in New York?

Possession of recreational marijuana in New York State is a strict no-no. With that said, the Compassionate Care Act has been passed in the year 2014. According to this law, a patient with certain ailments is qualified to possess and intake Medical marijuana after being certified by a qualified medical practitioner. A patient must also have a registry identification card in order to obtain medical grade marijuana.

With this law in place, we still see only over 33,000 patients registered for medical marijuana program among the over 19 million population of New York State. In most of the part, patients are getting erroneous information on marijuana law. This is causing a lot of confusion.

In this article, we will try to understand the laws that rule the medical marijuana in New York.

Cannabis buds and a Gavel

Getting Certified for Medical Marijuana

The law states that in order to obtain medical marijuana, you must have one of the following ailments:

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Positive Status)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Chronic Pain
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with an objective neurological indication of intractable Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (Positive Status)
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Neuropathies
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Severe or Chronic Pain or such conditions as added by the Commissioner
  • Ulcerative Colitis

A certified physician must thoroughly examine you and establish that you do suffer from one of the above ailments. The physician must have approval from the Department of Health to examine patients for medical marijuana.

The law even states that you must be 18 years of age. If you are not 18 years of age yet, you must get yourself an approved caregiver. This caregiver must then register on behalf of you.

It is necessary that you must be a resident of New York State. You must be able to produce address proof such as driver’s license issued by New York State or you must be able to produce Identification card issued by State of New York.

Once you qualify as a patient who must be treated with medical marijuana, you must be under the treatment of the approved physician who examined you in the first place.

Finally, you must acquire a Medical Marijuana Identification Card. To get that, all you need is an internet connection and a PC. You must log in to the website of My.NY.Gov.

You must upload your application form. Pay a registration fee of $50.00. You will first receive a temporary registry identification card. Once you get the state issued identification, you officially get the license to purchase the approved medical marijuana products.

You will receive the official Medical Marijuana Identification Cards through your mail. This identification card will include any limitations regarding forms or dosage of medical marijuana that can be made by the medical marijuana doctors.

Please note that:

  • The issued registry identification card will expire once a year is completed from the date your physician puts their signature on it.
  • In case your physician establishes that you are getting better with the treatment and you no longer need medical marijuana to get better, your physician can recommend early termination of your identification card.
  • In case you are suffering from a terminal ailment, then on your physician’s recommendation, your registration can be prolonged as long as you live.

In What Forms Can You Intake Medical Marijuana?

We all know that smoking flower or the bud of marijuana is strictly illegal in New York State. However, the Compassionate Care Act rules this out. Any patient who is qualified to take medical marijuana is allowed to use cannabis products in the form of THC and CBD, and maybe in many other ways. Here are few:

  • Oil or liquid form. This has to be administered sublingually or using the tincture. You can use a dropper placed under the tongue to intake a few drops of medical marijuana.
  • Oil or liquid form can also be taken through vaping. Here you are allowed to use vape pens. This has become the most preferred way of taking medical marijuana in New York State.
  • Another way of administering medical marijuana is by using capsules. This is a form of oral administration.

You will love to learn that in August 2017, the law even said that you can go ahead and use the non-smokable forms of medical marijuana.

This means that you can expect that in the near future, you will be allowed to cook the plant and make a delicious recipe out of it. You may even see the use of medical marijuana in chewable tablets, lozenges, patches, ointment, and even lotions!

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