New York residents can now get a medical marijuana card online without needing to fit within a list of pre-set qualifying conditions.
It’s cheaper than recreational weed, you can carry more and if you’re not approved for a NY MMJ card you can get your money back!
Keep reading this article to learn how to get a medical marijuanas card in NY and do it right from home for under $100.
How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In NY
Any resident in the state of New York with a qualifying condition is eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card.
To apply, you need to be at least 18 years old. Minors can appoint a caregiver who can apply on their behalf.
Once you have your recommendation from a physician, you can apply to the state. They will make the final decision about whether you are approved to get your medical marijuana card.
Below we will outline what you can expect when getting your MMJ card online in New York. But first, here’s a note on the differences between in-person and online recommendation consultations.
Should I Do An In-Person or Online Consultation?
The first step in getting a New York medical cannabis card is to get a medical cannabis recommendation letter.
To do this, you can always go through the hassle of finding a local doctor. They need to be board-certified to recommend medical cannabis to patients.
Once you find a qualified medical marijuana doctor, you can make an appointment and travel to their office.
These in-person visits can often cost as much as $350 on the low end. Not to mention it can take up a lot of precious time to get everything done.
Instead of shuffling around your schedule to meet a local doctor, you can opt to apply for a New York medical marijuana card online.
The best part is you don’t even need to leave the house.
These physicians meet with you through a telehealth appointment. They can recommend medical marijuana if they feel it is something that would improve your health. This process often takes thirty minutes or less.
Your online physician will walk you through the same process any doctor would at an in-person appointment.
All physicians have to follow the same guidelines. It doesn’t matter if they meet with you face-to-face or online. The state of New York and the Office of Cannabis Management regulates the medical cannabis program thoroughly.
You can be sure you’re not missing out on anything by choosing the online route.
Some people (like me) might even argue that you get more value out of choosing an online consultation.
This is because the physicians who work with platforms are experts in medical marijuana for New York patients.
They regularly work with patients who have different conditions and treatment goals. And they are well-versed in the New York state laws that regulate medical cannabis.
They often know much more than the average doctor that is busy with in-patient appointments.
These doctors might get infrequent visits from patients wanting to discuss medical cannabis. Therefore it may catch them off their game when someone does bring up the subject.
You might have a well-intentioned doctor that wants to help you with a medical cannabis card recommendation. But that does not mean they are going to be able to give you the best care.
Medical marijuana laws have been changing rapidly within the last two years in New York. Your doctor must take it upon themselves to stay up to date with the current regulations.
This is important to consider because a Leafwell or Veriheal physician will be able to jump right in with you.
They already know all the crucial details surrounding medical cannabis in New York. While also being qualified and ready to help identify what medical cannabis products are right for you.
An MMJ telehealth doctor will be ready to discuss your personal situation with respect to applying for a medical cannabis card in New York.
Compare this to a primary care doctor that might need to brush up on cannabis science and state laws first.
How Much Does It Cost to Get My Card Online?
Leafwell is one of the most affordable options for getting your medical marijuana card online.
For the state of New York, it costs $149 when you complete a consultation through Leafwell. Veriheal charges $199 for the same services.
If for some reason the Leafwell physician is unable to recommend you for medical marijuana then there is a money-back guarantee. And you can even get 10% off your order if you use the code NATUREANDBLOOM.
This is a major benefit that comes with applying online.
If you go to an in-person appointment and do not receive a recommendation, you are simply out of money and time.
But with Leafwell, you can have peace of mind knowing you will either get a recommendation or get your money back!
New York is currently debating state assembly bill A242, which, if passed, would mean the cost of a medical marijuana card will be reimbursed by your insurance provider.
Overall, New York residents have a high chance of approval when it comes to applying for their NY medical marijuana card through Leafwell.
NY Medical Marijuanas Card Application Process
Using a telehealth service, you can expect to get your medical cannabis card online in three easy steps.
First, you need to schedule your appointment. Then you will meet with your physician to get a recommendation (or your money back). To finish up you will need to complete your New York state application.
You can immediately purchase medical cannabis once your application has been approved. You can shop at any of the New York medical marijuana dispensaries to make your purchases.
And that’s it. Here are the details for each step along the way.
Book Your Online Consult
To get your NY medical marijuana card through Leafwell or Veriheal, you will first need to set up an account.
Make sure you are applying for New York. You will be able to select your state from a drop-down menu on their apply now page.
Patient privacy is a top concern. They have a secure, HIPAA-compliant system that protects your information.
Once you select New York, add your email and phone number. Then all you have to do is read and accept their terms of service to get started.
Log into your account and schedule an appointment time that works for you.
You will need to provide some of your health details.
You do not need to submit official medical records. However, the more information you can provide your doctor, the better. They will be able to assess your situation more thoroughly with more information.
If you wish to upload your medical records, you are encouraged to do so. Just upload them during your registration process.
Your physician will get familiar with your information before you meet.
Connect With A New York MMJ Doctor Online
Attend your consultation appointment online to speak with your New York registered physician.
In NY there is no list of medical conditions approved for cannabis, and the doctor can certify you as an MMJ patient if they feel it’s beneficial.
They will ask questions about your medical history. They may ask about what interests you about getting your NY medical marijuana card.
Ask any questions you may have about medical cannabis. This is the time to learn as much as you can about the process of getting your New York medical card or treatment plans.
They will be able to best instruct you on administering medical marijuana. They can also answer other questions newly certified patients often have.
The physician will be able to make an informed decision at the end of your appointment. They will decide whether or not they think medical marijuana use is appropriate for you.
Complete New York State Application Online
With your recommendation, you can apply for your New York MMJ card. You will need a few things to complete your state registration. They are:
- Signed certification from a board-certified physician
- Photo ID like a valid New York state driver’s license
- Proof of New York residency
- Birth certificate if under the age of 18
When registering on the state site, don’t forget to upload a copy of your ID. There is a field provided for you to enter the 9-digit number on your ID.
If you do not have a valid photo ID, you can submit a recent picture of yourself. It should be a shot of just your head and shoulders.
It needs to be on a plain background with no hats or sunglasses. Submit the photo in jpg format.
Some forms of acceptable proof of residency include:
- Recent pay stub
- Recent utility bill
- Current lease agreement
- Mortgage statement less than two months old
- NYC ID card or driver’s license
You will need to submit your personal details along with these items to get approval from the state. Currently, there are no state application fees. Thank you, New York!
Get Your Temporary New York Medical Registry ID Card
New York recognizes medical marijuana patients immediately.
As soon as you get your approval from the state, you can print out a temporary card. This way you can purchase medical marijuana products from dispensaries without delay.
Get Your New York Medical Card
You should get your New York medical marijuana card from the Department of Health in the mail. You can expect it to arrive within seven to ten days, but it could take longer.
Your temporary New York medical card is valid for up to 30 days. Don’t worry if your card takes a bit longer than this to show up.
Medical Marijuana In New York State
New York patients gained access to medical cannabis in 2014. This is when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation permitting the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
The Compassionate Care Act allowed doctors to prescribe non-smokable marijuana to certified patients. They still needed to have a serious ailment as a qualifying condition.
It also removed state-level penalties for New York patients possessing medical marijuana. Patients just need to have a written physician’s recommendation letter for medical cannabis.
Medical Marijuana in New York was originally managed by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). In 2016 the first 8 medical marijuana dispensaries opened in NY.
In 2017 the MMJ program expanded for the first time. New dispensary procedures were introduced.
Patients could speak with dispensary representatives about treatment options for the first time. And a wider range of medical marijuana products was allowed to be sold.
In 2019, Governor Cuomo signed another bill. This one decriminalized possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.
The NY Department of Health’s medical marijuana program expansion was stalled during the coronavirus pandemic. But it finally started moving again in 2021.
It also established the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM). The OCM now oversees the medical and adult-use cannabis programs.
Updates include expanding the state list of qualifying conditions for New York medical marijuana patients. Now there is a pathway for physicians to certify patients with any conditions they feel could benefit from medical cannabis.
It also expanded the possession limits of patients from a 30-day supply to a 60-day supply.
It now allows patients to possess whole cannabis flower. And the smoking of cannabis is a permitted method of medication administration.
The OCM is in charge of licenses for everyone in the cannabis industry in New York, from cultivators to dispensaries. They also determine packaging and labeling requirements.
To protect consumers, any products sold from a licensed state dispensary are full-panel third-party tested by accredited labs for the following:
- Cannabinoid potency
- Heavy metals
All dispensaries in New York have pharmacists on site. They are there to help patients find the right products for their conditions.
They also check for possible interactions with other medications. And they instruct new patients on how to get the best out of their medical marijuana treatment.
Keep in mind, that marijuana remains federally illegal. So although becoming a patient provides you state protections, they will not apply if you leave the state.
And there are a few other consequences that come with getting your card. Like not being able to purchase a firearm or hold a commercial driver’s license.
Benefits For Medical Marijuana Patients
Now that recreational marijuana is legal in New York, all adults have access to cannabis.
Even though recreational marijuana is now an option, there are some important benefits that make getting your MMJ card well worth it.
For example, having a medical card gives you wider access to more products. And you can have higher possession limits.
Related Read: Medical Cannabis Benefits
Save Money Buying Medical Cannabis
One of the most significant benefits of becoming a medical marijuana patient in NY is the savings you can get when purchasing cannabis.
The estimated sales tax for recreational marijuana sold in NY is 13%. Medical marijuana in New York is taxed only a 7% excise tax. This means you can save up to 6% in taxes by purchasing your products with a medical card.
Recreational limits only allow you to possess three ounces of marijuana for adult use. Whereas MMJ patients can possess whatever amounts to a 60-day supply for them.
This benefit allows users to go to the dispensary just once or twice a month. And buying in larger quantities may even get you quality products at a more affordable price.
Use Your New York Medical Marijuana Card In Other States
New York does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states. But some states do have medical marijuana reciprocity.
This means that they will recognize out-of-state cards.
You can either purchase or possess medical marijuana with your New York-issued MMJ card in these states. Just make sure to follow any local rules or regulations.
Access Medical Cannabis Sooner
In NY, the legal age for consumption of recreational cannabis is 21. But if you are an MMJ patient and hold a medical marijuana card the legal age to possess and consume MMJ is 18.
Minors can even qualify for medical cannabis, but their caregivers must be 21 or older.
Access High-Quality Products From Dispensaries
At the time of publishing, there are still no recreational sales of cannabis in NY. That means having your MMJ card is the only way to purchase marijuana from a dispensary in the state.
When the first recreational dispensaries open up, hopefully later this year, having your MMJ card will still guarantee you access to the most dispensaries with the best quality products.
Grow Your Own Medication
Something else worth considering is that medical marijuana card holders will be able to cultivate their own crops later this year.
Non-cardholders will not be able to grow any cannabis plants at home until after 2023 at the earliest.
Third-Party Lab Tested Products
Not everyone can or wants to grow their own cannabis at home.
The heavy regulations of MMJ produce another great benefit for medical marijuana card patients.
You know the products you buy have been thoroughly tested and transparently marketed. Right down to the labeling requirements.
The OCM requires that products go through stringent testing and that labels list warnings for any potential allergens, adverse effects, or potential dangers.
They also require producers to submit their costs to manufacture, market, and distribute products.
The OCM determines a reasonable price for the products and sets a maximum price per dose that Registered organizations may charge patients.
NY Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions NY
Thanks to expanded access, NY dropped its requirement that MMJ patients only qualify for certain conditions on January 24, 2022.
Now physicians have the discretion to recommend medical marijuana for any patient they feel would benefit from MMJ treatment.
There is a wide range of conditions that physicians believe can see improvement with the use of medical cannabis. Some of the conditions previously on the list include:
- Chronic pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Opioid substitution
New York Medical Cannabis Caregiver Requirements
People that are unable to apply for an MMJ card on their own or get their medication can have a designated caregiver.
A caregiver with a valid registry identification card can assist you with possession, acquisition, delivery, transportation, and administration of your medical cannabis.
You can have up to five caregivers in the state of NY. Registered caregivers in NY must be over the age of 21.
They are managed by the Office of Cannabis Management.
A certified patient must designate someone to become their caregiver. Then they must register as a caregiver online.
The caregiver will get a temporary registry ID card just like you did when you were approved as a patient. A physical ID card will be mailed to them.
Registered caregivers can purchase medical cannabis for their patients at a medical cannabis dispensary. They will need their registry ID card, patient certification, and government-issued photo ID.
NY Medical Card Renewal
Your New York medical marijuana card is valid for 12 months.
You can renew your card online just like getting a recommendation.
Leafwell charges the same amount for renewals as it does for initial consultations, so your renewal fee through Leafwell would be $149.
Be sure to start your renewal process about three months before your card expires to avoid any hiccups in your MMJ eligibility. The steps to renew your MMJ card are very similar to the ones you go through to get your recommendation letter.
You will speak with your physician about how treatment has been going and possible updates to your medical marijuana treatment plan. They will make a decision about whether or not you should continue using medical marijuana for your condition.
Once you get approval for renewal, you will be able to download a digital copy of your renewal recommendation letter and continue purchasing your MMJ.
New York MMJ Possession Limits
MMJ patients are now able to possess a 60-day supply of cannabis. This is up from what used to be a 30-day supply before MRTA took effect. Supply amounts are determined by your physician.
The possession limits for recreational adult use are up to three ounces of cannabis flower or up to 24 grams of cannabis concentrate like oils, edibles, or vapes.
It is now allowed for medical patients to grow their own cannabis plants. People with an MMJ card can grow up to three mature and three immature plants per person.
There is a maximum of 12 mature plants and 12 immature plants per household.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does NY Accept An Out Of State Medical Card?
No. New York does not accept out-of-state MMJ cards or have medical marijuana reciprocity.
You can purchase up to three ounces of cannabis for adult use as long as you have a photo ID and are over the age of 21.
How much does medical Marijuanas cost in NY?
The cost of medical marijuana in New York ranges depending on the products and amounts you purchase.
The average cost of one ounce of high-quality cannabis in New York is $337.
What qualifies for medical Marijuanas in NY?
Any health condition that your doctor feels might benefit from MMJ use may qualify you for medical marijuana in New York.
Some common conditions that frequently qualify for a recommendation are pain, nausea, anxiety, and eating disorders, but there are many more.
Speak to a physician to see if they recommend medical marijuana for your condition.
Can I Get a Recommendation From Any Physician?
No. You must get a recommendation letter from a physician that has registered with the New York Department of Health’s MMJ program.
Any physician partnering with Leafwell is licensed and registered for the state they are consulting about.
Where Can I Buy MMJ In New York?
You can only buy medical marijuana from Registered Facilities approved to sell cannabis in New York. There are currently 10 Registered Organizations.