FAQ

What conditions make me eligible to obtain medical marijuana?

You are potentially eligible for medical marijuana if you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions: 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 or chronic pain, or any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed (provided that the precise underlying condition is expressly stated on the patient’s certification). 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 or opioid use disorder.

What is the first step to obtaining medical marijuana?

The first step is speaking with your treating practitioner about whether the medical use of marijuana is appropriate for your condition. If your practitioner determines it is an appropriate treatment for you and he or she is registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, he or she may issue you a certification for medical marijuana.

What forms and dosage amounts of medical marijuana are allowed?

The Commissioner must approve any form of medical marijuana. Approved forms include, but are not limited to: solid or semi-solid dosage forms (such as capsules, tablets, and lozenges), metered liquid or oil preparations (for vaporization or oral administration), metered ground plant preparations, and topicals and transdermal patches. Under the law, smoking is not permitted and the regulations prohibit edibles. Please contact the registered organization directly to find out more about the products they have available.

What do I do after I receive certification from my registered practitioner?

Once you possess certification from a registered practitioner, you must register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department’s online Patient Registration System.

How do I register with the program as a caregiver?

A patient who is registered with the program must first designate you as a caregiver during the patient registration process. After the patient’s registration has been approved by the Department, the caregiver(s) must register with the Department. The patient will have access to instructions for caregiver registration. To register with the Department as a designated caregiver, you must be a resident of New York State and have a valid New York State Driver’s License or New York State Non-Driver ID card.

When can I expect my registry identification card to arrive?

After your registration is approved you will be issued a Temporary Registry Identification Card Registry Identification Card, which may be used in conjunction with a government-issued photo identification until you receive your registry identification card in the mail. Please allow approximately seven business days to receive your Patient or Caregiver Registry ID Card.

Which dispensing facilities may I use?

A certified patient may receive medical marijuana products from any dispensing facility of any Registered Organization in New York State

How much medical marijuana can I get at a time?

Registered Organizations may dispense up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana to a certified patient or designated caregiver, pursuant to any recommendations or limitations made by the practitioner on the certification. Registered Organizations report their medical marijuana dispensing to the New York State Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database, so that prescribers may review their patients’ controlled substance histories and make informed treatment decisions.

Opioid use as a Qualify Condition FAQ’s

How long must I have tried opioids to qualify for the ``Opioid Replacement`` condition?

The regulations do not require a patient to try opioids first. Any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed qualifies as a condition to receive medical marijuana. The patient must be certified by a registered practitioner for this new qualifying condition and register with the New York State Department of Health to obtain a registry ID card in order to purchase medical marijuana products

Can a patient be prescribed opioids and receive certification for medical marijuana?

There is no regulation that prohibits the concurrent use of opioids and medical marijuana. The decision of appropriate therapy will be at the discretion of the registered practitioner certifying the patient.

Am I eligible to use medical marijuana after surgery instead of using opioids?

Yes. Patients have the option to use medical marijuana instead of, or in conjunction with, opioids for postoperative pain management. Patients must be certified by a registered practitioner and registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. Patients may wish to check with the facility where the surgery will be performed regarding their policies and procedures as it relates to the use of medical marijuana while in the facility.

Do practitioners need to cite the exact diagnosis the patient would be treated for with opioids on the patient's certification when certifying a patient for this new qualifying condition?

Yes. The regulations require registered practitioners to identify the underlying condition for which an opioid would be prescribed on the patient’s certification. For example, if a patient has a limb fracture that is causing acute pain and the practitioner would like to certify the patient for medical marijuana, the practitioner should indicate “limb fracture” not “acute pain” as the underlying condition.

How does this new qualifying condition differ from the other existing qualifying conditions such as chronic pain and neuropathy?

The regulations define chronic pain as “severe debilitating pain that the practitioner determines degrades health and functional capability; where the patient has contraindications, has experienced intolerable side effects, or has experienced failure of one or more previously tried therapeutic options.” The pain must also have lasted three months or be anticipated to last more than three months. Opioid replacement as a qualifying condition allows for the use of medical marijuana for any condition which an opioid could be prescribed. This condition includes, but is not limited to acute pain, post-operative pain management, severe or persistent muscle spasms, and Opioid-Use Disorder. If an opioid could be prescribed for the patient’s condition, and the condition does not conform to the definition of chronic pain, neuropathy or severe pain associated with any other existing qualifying condition, then this new condition would be selected during the certification process.

Are there limits to the amount of medical marijuana that can be recommended for patients using medical marijuana as a substitute to opioids for acute pain?

Although initial opioid prescribing in New York State is limited to a 7-day supply, no such regulation exists as it pertains to medical marijuana. Patients can purchase up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana. The practitioner may also impose limitations on specific dosing recommendations, and/or issue the certification for a specified date that is less than one year if, in the practitioner’s professional opinion, the patient would benefit from medical marijuana only until a specified earlier date. The registered practitioner should use professional judgment in determining the appropriate length of treatment. When dispensing to patients, registered organizations must abide by the recommendations or limitations provided by the certifying practitioner.

Video Visit FAQ’s

How do I schedule a video visit?

Click on request a video visit online, or call our office directly to schedule: 631.494.2215.

Which devices can I use for my video visit?

You can use a computer, tablet, or smartphone (iPhone, iPad, and Android devices).

Is my video visit secure?

Yes! The video technology uses bank-grade encryption. However, make sure you find a quiet, private place in your home or office for your appointment.