The use of medical marijuana in New York was legalized by the passing of the Compassionate Care Act (CCA) in 2014. This act was designed to ensure individuals living in the state had access to a treatment designed to ease the suffering of individuals and make the use, sale, and distribution of marijuana safer. The state’s Department of Health was tasked with overseeing the new progressive stance on alternative medicine. Since its original passage, the CCA has had several amendments and expansions in order to streamline the process and shorten the approval time. With the inclusion of telemedicine technology, some individuals have also benefited in lower costs associated with the approval process.
Qualifying for a marijuana card in New York
The original framers of the Compassionate Care Act were concerned with the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana and therefore included several regulations that must be met before an individual is approved. While these laws may seem burdensome to many, they were intended to help prevent the abuse of a powerful narcotic.
Specific conditions were identified as life-threatening or considered so severe they were singled out for coverage under the CCA. Diseases such as Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease are among the qualifying conditions as well as several others. Since that time, the Department of Health has reviewed ailments for inclusion on the approved list. In 2018, to combat the skyrocketing opioid epidemic, any condition that could be prescribed opioids was added to the list. Also, in-patient treatment for opiate addiction was also covered under an amendment to the CCA. A complete list of covered diseases or conditions can be found at Department of Health.
Patients who have been diagnosed with one or more of the qualifying conditions and wish to use cannabis for treatment must be approved by a registered medical practitioner. Only these specially certified professionals can complete the required documentation to support a patient’s need for medical marijuana.
In the beginning, individuals were required to be seen in person before the certification process could begin. Unfortunately, this requirement created a bottle-neck type of situation at most practitioner’s offices and caused patients to wait weeks or more extreme cases, months before being seen. Thanks to the inclusion of telemedicine, the need for in-person visits have decreased.
Once your provider has reviewed your medical history, they will determine if you qualify medically for marijuana treatment. If approved by the provider, patients will need to apply for an account at NY.gov ID. Once an account has been established, patients will need to fill out an application under the “Health Applications” tab. Patients will be asked to supply proof of their identity and New York residency as well as paying a $50.00 registration fee. Once the information has been approved, a medical marijuana card will be mailed to the address provided.
Only patients who are 18 years or older can be granted a medical marijuana card. For those who do not meet the age requirement, a parent or legal guardian can apply for caregiver status. Once approved, the caregiver has the legal authority to act on the patient’s behalf including purchasing, transporting, and administering the prescribed dosage.
Some providers may offer to complete the online documentation for their patients although this decision is left up to each provider. Often offices that choose to complete the paperwork for their patients add the registration fee in with their charges for the consultation.
As with our driver’s license, medical marijuana certification has a pre-determined expiration date. Patients in New York are required to renew their certification annually. With each renewal, the $50 application fee is assessed.
New York marijuana doctors
Just as with patients who desire to use marijuana as a medical treatment, medical providers who want to be able to prescribe it to their patients must be approved by the State of New York. Additional training and certification must be completed before approval is granted. Once registered as an approved provider, practitioners are required to report all patient certification information to the Department of Health. Additionally, providers cannot certify themselves as patients nor are they allowed to prescribe medical cannabis inconsistent with the specified legal limits.
When providing a prescription, providers must include the strain of cannabis and the mode of consumption to be used. Understanding the specific qualities of each strain will allow their patient to receive the most advantageous results possible.
Medical marijuana doctors online in New York
Telemedicine is probably one of the fastest growing segments of medical treatment today. Not only are physicians able to see a higher number of patients in a short amount of time, but telemedicine also allows the patient and provider to communicate across vast distances. This ability comes in handy when individuals have limited transportation or are unable to come into the office due to pain or other illnesses.
Medical marijuana doctors in New York
Physicians in New York who are licensed to prescribe medical cannabis have worked very hard to earn their certification. They have completed a rigorous training program and have familiarized themselves with multiple strains of marijuana. Their dedication to helping patients cope with the stress and anxiety associated with a dreadful diagnosis is to be commended. While their primary goal is to offer treatments that can either cure or halt the progression of a disease, having the ability and means to lessen the effects of those diseases and aiding in patient comfort comes in at a very close second.
Only physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners can be certified to prescribe medical marijuana. If your provider is unwilling or unable to provide this type of treatment, they may be able to refer you to someone who can. Medical marijuana use is a complex issue that has created the need for stringent oversight. Not all conditions nor all patients will be impacted by cannabis in the same manner. If you feel you might be aided with marijuana treatment contact your provider today.