A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Medical Card in New York

For qualified patients living in the Big Apple, obtaining a valid medical card shouldn’t be an intimidating process. Those who are interested in getting a New York medical marijuana card have to follow a few easy steps to get the process done. Here’s what you’ll need to do for your NY MMJ card:

  1. Get evaluated by a certified physician 
  2. Receive a physician’s recommendation 
  3. Submit documentation and apply online
  4. Get your card and purchase medical cannabis products
Up-close photo of a resinous cannabis plant. How-to guide on getting your New York medical marijuana card.
How to Get a New York Medical Marijuana Card

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Who Can Get a Medical Card in New York?

To obtain a medical marijuana card in New York, you must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • An in-state resident
  • Have at least one qualifying medical condition

New York’s medical marijuana program does allow for minors, however, a parent or guardian must register on the minor’s behalf. This means that the adult is in charge of cannabis-related purchases and decision-making. 

What Are the Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in New York?

The qualifying medical conditions to receive your MMJ card in the Big Apple are:

  • Cancer
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic pain 
  • Pain that degrades health and functional capability as an alternative to opioid use or substance use disorder. 

The severe debilitating or life-threatening condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions: 

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Severe or chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms
  • PTSD
  • Opioid use disorder

How-To Steps for Getting an MMJ Card in New York

1: Get Evaluated By a Certified Physician 

In order to get your New York MMJ card, you must first be evaluated by a licensed physician who is qualified to recommend you medical cannabis. Typically, this is your primary care physician. However, if your practitioner does not qualify, you can find a list of doctors on New York’s Medical Marijuana Program’s website.

2: Receive a Physician's Recommendation

As soon as you’ve been evaluated by a certified physician, this practitioner will then decide whether or not you qualify for medical cannabis. If you do, you will get a physician’s recommendation that states you are eligible for medical cannabis. This is integral for your actual application. 

3: Submit Documentation and Apply Online

Now, it’s time to take a photocopy of your New York state ID, alongside your physician’s recommendation, and apply online using the New York Patient Registration System. Here, you will also submit $50 for the application fee if necessary. 

4: Get Your Card and Purchase Medical Cannabis Products

Once you’ve submitted your application, in a few days, you will receive an approval or denial email. If you’ve been approved, you will be given access to a temporary medical card that you can use for purchasing. Seven business days after being approved, your physical card will show up in the mail and you’ll be ready to start buying.

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