How to Get a Medical Card in New York [Laws and Process]
New York is one of the many states across American to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, giving its residents access to the natural healing power of CBD. Research into the health benefits of CBD has shown it to be an excellent alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals for treating a range of different health conditions. CBD has even proven to be more effective than pharmaceuticals for some patients and has attracted a great deal of media attention over the last few years for treating epilepsy.
As marijuana is currently only legal for medical purposes and not recreational, residents must obtain a medical card in order to be able to purchase marijuana legally. The legalization and rules governing marijuana are currently dealt with at a state level, and as a result of this, each state has a slightly different process for obtaining a medical marijuana card. The good news is that there are, in fact, a number of companies who specialize in assisting with the process, making it as stress-free and straightforward as possible.
Let’s take a look at precisely who can obtain a medical marijuana card in New York and the steps to doing so.
The Benefits of a Medical Card
While New York has legalized marijuana for medical use, it is still illegal to use recreationally, and this means that it cannot be purchased without a medical marijuana card. The obvious benefits to applying for a card and being successful is that you can purchase medical grade marijuana completely legally from dispensaries across the state. A registered dispensary can give up to 30 days’ worth of medical marijuana at one time. All sales conducted at a registered dispensary are automatically reported to the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program database, to prevent patients from purchasing more than their monthly allowance. The system is also designed to keep a record of patient’s usage and ensure that they receive the correct medical support and advice.
Another benefit to having a New York medical marijuana card is that it entitles you to purchase and use medical marijuana in a number of other states when visiting. It has been recognized that patients who rely on medical marijuana in order to manage long term health conditions and lead a normal life are limited when it comes to travel. For some people, it is not possible to travel to a state where consuming medical marijuana means breaking the law, as the effects on their health could have serious ramifications. Some states now openly accept out-of-state medical cards, allowing visitors the same access to dispensaries that they would have at home. Other states require you to apply for a visitor card and, as part of the process, will check that you have been accepted for a medical card in your home state. So, having a New York medical card could open up a wealth of new travel options.
Having a medical card means that your employer cannot discriminate against you for taking regular CBD, as it is treated in just the same way that other forms of medication are. This means that if you work for a company who likes to conduct regular drug tests to check up on their staff, you cannot be reprimanded or potentially fired for taking CBD.
Who Can Apply for a Medical Card in New York?
With medical marijuana being managed at a state level, each state has its own list of conditions that allow you to qualify for a medical marijuana card. While some states like to leave their list of accepted conditions vague and very much up to the examining doctor, New York has a clear list of what they do and do not accept.
Below is a list of health conditions that the state of New York will accept when applying for a medical marijuana card:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury with spasticity
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pain
Steps to Obtaining a Medical Card
The official state of New York website dedicated to medical marijuana suggests that the first thing you should do before even applying for a medical card is to speak to your practitioner. As the person who knows the most about your health and who can carefully examine your medical records, your practitioner is the best equipped to tell you whether medical marijuana could improve your health and allow you to make an informed decision.
Assuming that you decide that you want to move forward with the application process, you will need to obtain certification stating that you qualify for medical marijuana from a doctor registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Check whether your regular practitioner is registered, as they will be able to give you this certificate when you visit them and will save you the time and money of an additional appointment. If your doctor is not registered, you will need to book an appointment with a doctor who is, and they will want to discuss your health concerns and decide whether they feel you qualify. A list of registered practitioners can be found on the Practitioner Education for the Medical Marijuana Program’s websites.
Once you have your certificate, you can apply online through the Medical Marijuana Program’s website. The site contains detailed instructions containing the documents you will need and the information you must provide. You can also apply on behalf of a minor or an adult who has been deemed incapable of consenting to medical treatment.
As part of the registration process, you are asked to pay a non-refundable fee of $50, although this is currently being waived for all patients and their designated caregivers.
Once your application is complete and you have been approved, you will be given a temporary identification card. This card can be used with a valid form of state ID to purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries while you wait for your medical card to arrive in the post. You should then receive your official medical card in the post within 7 working days.
The New York State Department of Health’s website contains a wealth of information for patients once they have received their card, including where you can purchase medical marijuana from and the prices that you should expect to pay. For anyone even considering applying for a medical card in New York, it is worth dedicating some time to go through all of the information provided as it covers all of the need to know areas when it comes to medical marijuana.
How Can NuggMD Help You Get a Medical Card?
While New York has one of the most straightforward processes for applying for a medical marijuana card, it can still all feel somewhat confusing; especially if your regular practitioner is not registered and able to give you the necessary certification. Luckily, NuggMD offers a service for New York residents, designed to make applying for a medical card a quick and stress-free process.
The great thing about NuggMD is that the entire process can be completed online, so you don’t even have to worry about finding the time to visit your practitioner for an examination. Despite the whole process taking place online, you still get to have a face-to-face appointment with a registered practitioner, who is able to give you the certificate needed when applying for your medical card. Rather than having to find time in your busy schedule to visit a practitioner, you meet with through video chat so that you still get a friendly and personal experience. Doctors are available for appointments between 8 am and 10 pm, meaning that you do not have to worry about taking time off work. During the meeting, the practitioner will discuss your medical history and answer any questions that you might have.
NuggMD have tailored the entire experience to be as simple as possible; all you have to do is fill out a quick online form containing your medical history and upload proof of a valid state ID. Once you have completed this particular step, you can schedule your appointment with a practitioner, this can even be done straight away in some cases. Once you have the practitioner’s approval, you are all set to apply through the state of New York’s official website.
NuggMD offer their super convenient and helpful service for $149. When you consider the price of visiting a regular practitioner plus the potential lost earnings from having to take the time off, NuggMD’s service could end up saving you money.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Medical Card in New York
While applying for a medical marijuana card in any state can feel like a confusing and lengthy process, New York has managed to refine their process, making it a lot easier than some other states. The clear list of accepted conditions means that you can somewhat judge for yourself whether your application will be successful and prevents you from having to waste time and money only to be rejected.
Another advantage that the New York system has over other states is that you do not actually apply until you have a valid certificate from a registered doctor. This is much more intelligent than some states that do it the other way round and means that the system is not slowed down by applications that will not be accepted.
For anyone who suffers from one of New York’s listed health conditions and finds that their current medication is not working for them, it is worth checking out The New York State Department of Health’s website and finding out if you are eligible for a medical card. Having a medical marijuana card in New York gives you access to statewide medical dispensaries and a whole new world of natural medication at your very fingertips.
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