Alright so continuing with theme of walking you through how to get medical marijuana in various states, today I’m going to go through how to get medical marijuana in New York.

And, in fact, I was looking through the comments on my YouTube videos, and one of my viewers, his name is Joey, actually asked,

Questions about Medical Marijuana in New York

So, Joey, here’s an answer to your question.

STEP 1:  Speak with your treating practitioner about whether the medical use of marijuana is appropriate for your condition.

What conditions make you eligible to get medical marijuana in New York?

You are potentially eligible for medical marijuana if you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following severe debilitating or life threatening conditions:

  • Cancer
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal Cord Injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or
  • Chronic Pain

The severe debilitating or life threatening condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions,

  • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
  • Severe or Chronic Pain
  • Severe Nausea
  • Seizures, or
  • Severe or Persistent Muscle Spasms.

Specifically, patients with “any severe debilitating pain that a practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where the patient has contraindications, has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options;” may qualify for medical marijuana, so long as “there is documented medical evidence of such pain having lasted three months or more beyond onset, or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset.”

If your practitioner determines medical marijuana is an appropriate treatment for you, he or she may issue you a certification for medical marijuana.

The certifying practitioner includes the following information on the patient’s certification:

  • the authorized brand and form of the approved medical marijuana,
  • the administration method, and
  • any limitations on the use of approved medical marijuana product.

If a practitioner has a recommendation regarding dosage, it’s also included on the certification, although a recommendation on dosage is not required.

Now, it’s important to know that in order to issue certifications, practitioners must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be qualified to treat patients with one or more of the serious conditions set forth in Public Health Law or as added by the Commissioner.
  2. Be licensed, in good standing as a physician and practicing medicine, as defined in the Education Law in New York State, or

Be certified, in good standing as a nurse practitioner and practicing, as defined in the Education Law, in New York State, or

Be licensed, in good standing as a physician assistant and practicing in New York State, as defined the Education Law, under the supervision of a physician registered with the New York State medical marijuana program;

  1. Have completed a four-hour course approved by the Commissioner
  2. Have registered with the New York State Department of Health

If your treating practitioner does not meet the criteria to issue medical marijuana certifications, then how do you find one that does?

Patients may access a list of registered practitioners on the the New York State Medical Marijuana Program website.

Are doctor’s visits related to medical marijuana covered by insurance in New York?

As of April 12, 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services announced that “all insurers authorized to write accident and health insurance in New York State, including health maintenance organizations, student health plans and municipal cooperative health benefit plans,…must provide coverage for office visits for covered services, including those that may result in a medical marijuana certification, as long as the visit was not solely for the purpose of the certification.”

Superintendent Vullo stated that “…insurers…cannot deny coverage just because a doctor may provide a medical marijuana certification as part of an otherwise covered office visit.”


STEP 2:  Register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department of Health online Patient Registration System.

You’ll be required to provide proof of identity and residency during the registration process.

There is a non-refundable application fee that you have to pay to register as a patient.

After your registration is processed, you will be issued a Registry Identification Card.


STEP 3:  Visit a dispensing facility to obtain medical marijuana products.

You’ll find a list of dispensing facilities on the New York State Medical Marijuana Program website.

If you’re unable to travel to a dispensing facility, then the dispensing facilities are permitted to offer delivery services to you – the patient.

What forms of medical marijuana are allowed?

Approved forms include,

  • metered liquid or oil preparations for vaporization or administration via inhaler;
  • solid and semisolid preparations (e.g. capsules, chewable and effervescent tablets, lozenges);
  • metered ground plant preparations; and
  • topical forms and transdermal patches.

Under the law, smoking is not permitted and the regulations prohibit edibles.

How much medical marijuana can you get at a time?

Dispensing facilities may dispense up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana to a certified patient, pursuant to any recommendations or limitations made by the practitioner on the certification

Know that the laws on medical marijuana are constantly changing.  So, please check the New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program website for updates.  I’ve included a link to the website below.

New York State Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program

As always I hope you found this information valuable.  And, of course, if you have any questions, please post them in the comments section below.  



Research Referenced: