The list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in New York has been recently revised.
New York’s medical cannabis market is known for its strict regulations, resulting in a relatively low number of patients, around 150,000, across the entire state. In comparison, New Mexico, with a population of 2 million, has approximately 112,000 patients, whereas New York, with over 19 million people, falls significantly behind in patient numbers.
List of Former Qualifying Conditions in New York
The qualifying conditions for obtaining a NY medical marijuana card as of December 2021 included the following:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injury with spasticity
- Pain that degrades health and functional capability as an alternative to opioid use or substance use disorder.
Additionally, patients may qualify if they have a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition accompanied by one or more associated or complicating conditions such as:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- PTSD or opioid use disorder
- Severe nausea
- Chronic or severe pain
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms.
Previously, physicians in New York were limited to recommending medical cannabis only for patients with the mentioned conditions. However, in several states, healthcare providers have the freedom to use their discretion when recommending medical cannabis, meaning patients don’t necessarily need a specific condition to qualify; the decision is at the discretion of the physician.
This is just one of the recent regulatory changes. The Cannabis Control Board of New York unanimously voted last year to expand legislation, permitting medical marijuana patients to grow plants at home for personal use.
How Do I Apply For a Medical Marijuana Card in New York?
With the imminent start of regulated adult-use cannabis sales in New York, the question arises: is obtaining a medical marijuana card still beneficial?
The state’s new program permits adults aged 21 and above to purchase and hold up to three ounces of cannabis. However, medical marijuana patients can still obtain a 60-day supply based on their physician’s recommendation, and they enjoy the advantage of lower taxes compared to adult-use customers, making access more affordable.
Quick Guide to Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card in New York
1. Verify Your Eligibility
With the recent updates to the list of qualifying conditions, your potential eligibility for a medical marijuana card in New York has changed. According to the new rule, physicians have the discretion to make the determination based on their professional judgment.
2. Locate a Qualified Physician
Before receiving a recommendation for medical cannabis, ensure that your physician is licensed to practice medicine in the state of New York.
3. Submit an Application to the State of New York
Upon obtaining your doctor’s recommendation, you will need to complete and submit an application to the state of New York. Notably, the state has officially waived the previous application fee of $50.
Find a Doctor to Recommend Medical Marijuana
To find a doctor who can recommend medical marijuana, there are a few steps you can take:
- Research and understand the laws
- Check state registries
- Seek recommendations
- Consult with your primary care physician
- Visit specialized clinics
- Contact professional organizations
Also Read: Can A Diabetes Patient Get A Medical Card?
The recent changes in New York’s regulations have opened the doors for doctors to recommend medical marijuana to any patient in need. This development signifies a significant shift in the state’s approach to medical cannabis, recognizing its potential therapeutic benefits for a wider range of conditions.