Individuals living in New York and who suffer from specific life-threatening or chronic conditions may wish to consider medical marijuana as a treatment method as the passing of the Compassionate Care Act in 2014 legalized medical marijuana.
Although the rules and requirements may be considered more stringent than those of other states, New York has come a long way from its days of prohibiting cannabis’ use as a medicine.
Medical Marijuana is only provided to those who may have a qualifying condition and an MMJ card.
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What is a Medical Marijuana Recommendation?
In order to legally qualify for a medical marijuana card in New York, individuals must receive the required recommendation from a physician or health practitioner that has been registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. A necessary step can be completed in person during an office examination or online as a part of the telemedicine programs offered by some practitioners. If your healthcare provider is not registered with the Department or does not wish to become a registered provider, you can be referred to one that does.
To be qualified to receive marijuana treatment, individuals must suffer from a select list of diseases that have been approved by the Department. The current list is as follows:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuropathy or other forms of nervous tissue or spinal cord damage
- Opioid treatment
Patients must be able to show residency within the state and may be asked to show supporting documentation to the certifying practice in order to be eligible for a medical marijuana card in New York. Once a patient has received certification from an approved medical provider, completion of an application with the Medical Marijuana program is mandatory through the state’s online Patient Registration System.
Occasionally, the doctor’s office will complete this step for their patients and include the $50.00 application fee within the price of their consultation. If the application is not submitted automatically, individuals can apply through the state’s website at the Department of Health.
Once all the required information has been provided, and you have been approved, the medical marijuana card should arrive in 7-10 business days at the address listed on the application. Once the card has been received, qualified patients can purchase marijuana legally from an approved New York state dispensary.
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What is New York’s Medical Marijuana Law?
Like many other states that have made medical marijuana legal, New York has enacted several laws to ensure patient safety. Following are the said laws:
- Only individuals who are over the age of 18 can apply for this particular use permit.
- Those that are under the age of 18 must have the permission of a designated caregiver.
- The caregiver must also register with the Department and receive an identification card that will allow them to assist the patient with the possession, acquisition, delivery, transfer, transportation, or administration of approved products.
- There are currently only four methods of medical marijuana consumption approved in the state: topical, sublingual (oral) oil drops, capsules, and vaporization.
- Smoking real marijuana flowers is prohibited as well as any public use of vaporized cannabis with an e-cigarette.
- Individuals may not grow their own marijuana plants at this time.
- Drivers using the products will be punished as per the DUI laws concerning alcohol.
- Only MMJ cardholders are considered legal medical marijuana users.
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Who can Help me Get a Medical Marijuana Recommendation?
While all medical providers can diagnose chronic or life-threatening diseases and illnesses, not all have been approved by the state to prescribe medical marijuana. Following physicians are authorized to Medical Marijuana patients:
- Registered practitioners who have completed the training required to do so. They understand the laws the State of New York has determined necessary when working with this type of medication and are best equipped to handle any issues arising from the sale and use of cannabis.
- Most experts believe that New York has some of the most restrictive rules in the country when it comes to medical marijuana. Working with knowledgeable providers will help patients navigate this delicate process easier.
- While marijuana has been proven to be effective in treating multiple issues, not all of it has the same amount of effectiveness. Each strain of marijuana is different and therefore relieves many conditions differently. Choosing the right strain to treat your condition medically is vital to your overall health. Registered providers understand the differences and are best suited to prescribe.
- New York requires all prescriptions to not only specify the strain to be dispensed and the method of consumption, only those who have been specially trained can anticipate any issues with this type of medication.
Medical marijuana has been approved for use in New York for several years. While the conditions of use may not be the most lenient in the US, government and medical officials are continually reviewing to streamline the process to ensure individuals who suffer such horrid conditions receive the best treatment possible.
If you or your loved one is suffering or considering the benefits of marijuana – this treatment may be right for you. For more information consult your physician, a registered provider, or the state’s website.