How to Get a New York Medical Marijuana Card - 2022 Guide

How to Get a New York Medical Marijuana Card - 2022 Guide

How to Get a New York Medical Marijuana Card - 2022 Guide

New Yorkers could now be eligible for a state-issued medical cannabis card. This card could allow access to cannabis for thousands of people with common conditions and disorders. Check out our New York MMJ Guide for more information. 

New York had one of the strictest policies on medical marijuana in the United States until recently. This changed in 2017 when NuggMD, a California-based company, took advantage of New York State Senate Bill 2405. 

It is now possible to be approved by a qualified doctor in under 30 minutes. This guide will show you how to obtain a New York medical marijuana card. Let's first look at the laws surrounding cannabis in New York.

NY Cannabis Laws - Medical Marijuana Card

Everything changed in New York for the marijuana industry on March 30, 2021. On that day, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed The Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act. It legalized recreational cannabis use in New York.

It's a game-changer because of many reasons. The law allows adult-use marijuana in NY. It also expunged criminal records related to marijuana in New York. This was previously a problem that caused loss of homes, licenses and jobs.

You can now possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis legally without being subject to a penalty. Possession of more than eight ounces of cannabis is considered a misdemeanor.

It is legal in New York to possess and use marijuana if you are 21+. In a few years, it will be legal to grow marijuana at your home. While recreational sales are not yet legal, you cannot legally buy medical marijuana in the state.

How to get a New York Medical Marijuana Card

The proposed changes to MMJ programs as part of MRTA are still to be implemented. Therefore, the following information is current.

Step 1: Get in touch with a NY healthcare provider

Talk to a registered physician/health professional with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. You can make an appointment in person or online. There are a number of licensed doctors in each county that participate in the state's medical marijuana program.

These medical professionals include physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Before they can certify patients for medical marijuana, all practitioners must take a minimum of two hours.

Only NY residents who can provide proof of residency are eligible. A qualifying medical condition is also required. The list of qualifying medical conditions is provided below. A utility bill, lease or any other DOH-approved documentation can be used to prove residency for temporary residents who are receiving treatment in New York.

Step 2: Schedule a Consultation

After you have found a licensed physician, schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns and explain why MMJ is beneficial for you. Patients are advised to provide as much detail as possible when answering questions about their symptoms. This allows the doctor to not only determine the best product, but also the appropriate starting dose. If your doctor approves, they will issue a certificate for medical marijuana.

Step 3 - Register for a New York State Gov Account

Double-check the doctor's certificate once you have it. You will also find data like the expiration date (1 year after issue) and your dosing recommendations.

A New York State I.D. is a great idea. It is helpful when applying for an MMJ Card. To complete the step, go to You can sign up for many state services using the username and password that you choose. The NYS identification is extremely handy.

Step 4: Register with the NY Medical Marijuana Program

The online patient registration system of New York allows you to register for the New York Medical Marijuana Program. This can be done in two ways:

  • Ask your doctor. This is usually covered by most MMJ doctors.
  • Submit your application via the website.

Enter your state I.D. to prove your identity. Your 9-digit driver’s license number.

After you have submitted your information and received approval, you will receive your card by mail. You will be issued a Temporary Identification Card. You can print it and use it for MMJ purchases while you wait to get your permanent card.

Step 5: Visit a dispensary

You can use your government-issued I.D. and your temporary or permanent card together to purchase cannabis. To purchase cannabis at a licensed dispensary. There aren't enough dispensaries in New York right now.

Approved users can be assured that cannabis is of high quality in licensed dispensaries. All MMJ products need to be tested by an independent lab certified by DOH's Environmental Laboratory Approval Program.

Please remember that you need to bring your card and certificate. Otherwise, you won't be able to buy medical marijuana in New York. While your doctor may recommend specific types of cannabis delivery, dispensary budtenders can suggest other options. If you are unsure, ask your doctor.

How much does New York Medical Marijuana cost?

After you have received your MMJ certificate from a qualified doctor the cost to apply for a medical marijuana card is $50. The application fee is non-refundable. The DOH has waived this fee at the time that I am writing. There will be additional charges/costs associated with the initial consultation with your physician. These range from $99 to 299. Online services offer a complete service starting at $149.

Qualifying conditions for a NY Medical Card

If you meet the following conditions, you may be eligible for an MMJ Card in New York.

  • Cancer
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuropathy (or any other form of nerve tissue/spinal cord damage)
  • Spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome)
  • Huntington's disease
  • Chronic pain that affects the health and function of the body is where cannabis can be an alternative to opioid use.
  • Substance abuse disorder

Patients suffering from severe, life-threatening or debilitating conditions or any other condition may also be eligible for medical marijuana.

  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome).
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms that persist or are severe

The medical marijuana program will be expanded by the MRTA, which will increase the number of qualified conditions. Soon, MMJ patients who meet the following conditions may be eligible for the state program.

  • Alzheimer's
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Dystonia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autism
  • Any other condition that the practitioner certifies

What types of cannabis can I purchase?

At the moment, marijuana products can only be purchased in 'non-smokable" forms. These include:

  • Capsules
  • Oils
  • Sprays
  • Vaporizer products
  • Liquids

You can't buy edibles or smoke cannabis flowers. However, smokable cannabis will soon be available for purchase once the MRTA has been implemented.

How to get a NY Medical Marijuana Card Online

Once you have your doctor's certificate, go to and register. If you do not have one, you will need to create one. To register as a caregiver or patient, click on the "Health Applications" icon. Once you have been approved, you will be issued a temporary I.D. The temporary registry I.D. is valid for 30 calendar days. Your permanent card should arrive within 10 days. In the meantime, you can still use the temporary one.

Who can use medical marijuana?

Only NY residents over 21 years old can use MMJ. A parent or legal guardian may complete the application on your behalf as a designated caregiver if you are younger than 21.

Last Thoughts about Getting a New York Medical Marijuana Card

Since the New York MMJ Program was introduced, it has been considered to be one of the most restrictive programs in the country. Recent developments have seen a dramatic change. The Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act will greatly expand the medical marijuana program. It will increase the supply of MMJ patients, create new qualifying conditions and allow for the use of smokable cannabis.

The MRTA also allows recreational marijuana to be legally purchased. Adult-use marijuana is currently not available for sale. This means that you will still need an MMJ Card to legally use the plant in New York.