How to Register for a New York Medical Marijuana Card
Many residents of New York have questions regarding how to obtain an official medical marijuana card. It is important to take a little bit of time to become familiar with the laws that are in place and learn about the procedures that must be followed when seeking to obtain an ID. Failure to follow the right procedures could result in delays or legal issues.
Why would a person want to obtain a NY medical marijuana ID? This is the only method that allows a person to legally possess cannabis in the state of New York. A person who has an ID has the ability to enter any accredited cannabis dispensary in the state and receive a dose that has been approved as part of a treatment plan for an illness or condition.
While the relaxation of cannabis laws in New York has made headlines in recent months, the reality is that the laws regarding cannabis possession in the state are still very tight. The use of legal marijuana in New York is a highly regulated thing. It is only legal to purchase medical marijuana from approved medical marijuana dispensaries that have proper licensing. What’s more, you can only obtain the amount of marijuana that your medical marijuana doctor has prescribed to assist with your medical condition.
What can ID holders purchase when they enter approved dispensaries? You are permitted to purchase up to the legally allowable dose of marijuana. In addition, you are permitted to purchase tinctures, vaporizers and concentrates. Dispensaries also sell an assortment of other legally approved accessories that can assist you in using your medical cannabis prescription.
An official New York medical marijuana card can provide you with access to affordable marijuana. The prices of medical marijuana products are actually closely regulated by the state’s Department of Health. This means that you can enjoy stable marijuana prices without worrying about having to shop around for the best price or deal with sudden spikes in costs. The big advantage of this is that you can choose the dispensary that you prefer to visit when picking up your marijuana prescription based on convenience and the competency of the staff instead of basing your decision on price. Your medical marijuana ID also grants you access to receive information regarding cannabis products when visiting a qualified dispensary. This means that you will be given the opportunity to consult with a representative to receive information regarding products and details related to the state’s marijuana program.
The biggest benefit of legally obtaining a medical marijuana ID in the state of New York is that you can breathe easy knowing that you are in complete compliance with the law. New York residents who possess a current medical marijuana ID have complete protection from criminal and civil penalties associated with marijuana possession. Of course, this protection does not apply if you are found to be in possession of a greater amount of marijuana than is permitted under the state’s medical marijuana laws. A medical marijuana ID gives you permission to conceal and carry the approved quantity of cannabis anywhere in the state.
All patients who have been given approval by a qualifying licensed medical practitioner are eligible to obtain an official New York medical marijuana ID. However, the ID can only be given to a patient once they have filled out and submitted all of the required documents to the New York State Department of Health. Here are some key things to know about applying to obtain an ID:
- All patients must register with the New York Marijuana Registry
- A person’s registration with the New York Marijuana Registry expires on the same day that their recommendation for medical marijuana from a licensed practitioner expires
- New York’s medical marijuana law restricts the total amount of approved medical marijuana that a patient may receive to no more than a 30-day supply
- The medical marijuana policy in New York prohibits the smoking of cannabis as a delivery method
- Patients are not allowed to cultivate cannabis just because they’ve received a medical marijuana ID
The good news is that you don’t have to navigate the path to receiving a medical marijuana card on your own. In fact, it is necessary to obtain the help of a medical marijuana doctor before you can even take the first step toward obtaining an ID. You will need to visit with a qualifying physician to obtain a statement and prescription. This documentation will verify that you have a medical condition that qualifies you to receive a medical marijuana ID and visit medical marijuana dispensaries. It is important to note that not every primary healthcare provider can assist you with this step. You will need to be referred to a physician who is active with the state’s medical marijuana program and registry.
What are some of the conditions that will qualify a person to be eligible for New York’s medical marijuana program? Patients diagnosed with a number of life-threatening and debilitating medical conditions are eligible to be granted legal protection under New York’s new medical marijuana law. Here is the list of qualifying conditions:
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Damaged nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Inflammatory bowel disease(IBD)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- Huntington’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures or muscle spasms associated with other conditions
Below are the steps required when obtaining a medical marijuana ID. The process does take a little bit of time. It will also require your full attention. It is best to find a time when you can put at least an hour aside to go through the steps in a quiet area without interruptions.
Obtaining a medical card for marijuana all starts with having your own My NY.gov account. This account is also required when completing the registration process for a certified patient or designated caregiver. What if you don’t already have your own My NY.gov account? You can simply follow the instructions presented here to obtain one. You can skip to step 13 if you already have a NY.gov account and are ready to sign in and get started.
1. Visit https://my.ny.gov/ and click the “Don’t have an Account?” button.
2. You should now select the “Personal” button.
3. You will now click the “Sign Up for a Personal NY.gov ID” button.
4. You will now go on to complete the required fields that are on the page by doing the following:
- Check the “I am not a robot” box
- Complete the popup
- Click the “Create Account” button
You may also want to check that the user name you’ve chosen is available by selecting the “Check” box located to the right of the preferred username. It is possible that you may receive a message alerting you to the fact that you already have a registered NY.gov identity. This means that you have already used your email address to register for an account at some point in the past.
5. Take a moment to verify that all of the information you’ve provided on the page is accurate. Simply click the “Continue” button if you are positive that all of the information has been entered correctly. You can select the “Back” button if you notice that a piece of information that is displayed on the screen is not accurate.
6. You will now be able to click the “Finish” button. You should then check the email address that you entered to look for a confirmation email. Don’t forget to check your spam folder if the email does not pop up in your inbox.
7. Open the confirmation email that has been sent to you and click the link to activate your account. You also have the option to simply copy and paste the link into your browser if the link does not activate when you click it.
8. You will now be directed to the NY.gov ID Activation page. You should make sure that you are in a private area where nobody can glance at your screen while completing the following steps. Here are the steps to follow once you arrive at this page:
- Select your three secret questions and enter your answers
- Write down or store the answers to these questions if you think you might easily forget them.
- Click the “Continue” button when all three answers have been completed
9. Stay on the page to receive a confirmation message alerting you to the fact that your secret questions and answers have been successfully saved. You should then click the “Continue” button to move forward.
10. It is now time to enter your password for your account and click the “Set Password” button when you are finished.
11. You will receive a confirmation message that your new password has been set. Click the “Continue” button.
12. You should receive a confirmation message alerting you to the fact that your NY.gov ID has been activated. You should instantly click on the “Go to MyNy” button.
13. The steps to come will show you how to access the Medical Marijuana Program’s registration system now that your NY.gov account has been formally set up. It is now time to visit the Services page. Scroll down on the page and click on the “Health Applications” icon that you see.
14. Click on the “Medical Marijuana Program” link at the bottom of the list.
15. You will now select your role. You can receive step-by-step assistance at this point by selecting the “HELP” option in the top right corner of the page.
Use the FAQ link pictured below if you require password assistance or if you need additional information regarding your NY.gov account.
Medical Marijuana Program Certified Patient and Designated Caregiver Registration Instructions
Take a moment to refer to the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program website (https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/registration_prerequisites.htm) before beginning the registration process to ensure that you have all of the appropriate documentation needed to complete the process. You can follow the instructions below based on your status as a certified patient, proxy applicant or designated caregiver.
For Certified Patients: All certified patients over the age of 18 who are capable of consenting to their own medical treatment can scroll down to Section A.
For Proxy Applicants: A proxy applicant may be used for patients who are under the age of 18 or incapable of consenting to medical treatments. All proxy applicants should scroll down to Section B and follow the steps listed to register on behalf of a patient.
For Designated Caregivers: An individual who has been designated as a caregiver by a certified patient in a registry application may act on their behalf during the registration process. All designated caregivers should scroll down to Section C and follow the steps listed.
A. Certified Patient Instructions
1. Log in to My.NY.gov at https://my.ny.gov/. What if you do not have an account? Simply follow this link to create an account: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/docs/my_ny_gov_instructions.pd. Be sure to make a record of your username and ID password. This information should be stored in a secure place.
2. You can now click on the Health Applications icon.
3. Click on the link for the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS) and select the role that applies to you once the page has fully loaded.
4. Take a moment to enter the information for each field and click “Next” when finished.
a. Note that the certification number can be seen on the right corner of the certification form that has been issued by your registered practitioner. You will need to enter that number exactly as it appears on the form.
b. The patient’s date of birth must be entered in the MM/DD/YYYY format. What happens if you receive an error message? Check that the name, date of birth and zip code that have been entered are all correct. All of the information you enter should be identical to what is on the certification provided by the patient’s physician. It will be necessary to contact your practitioner if you discover that any of the information on the certification is incorrect.
5. You should now be on the page titled Patient Home Page. You should select the option marked as “REGISTER/VIEW MY REGISTRATIONS.”
6. The My Registrations page will show you a “Start New Registration” button.
Important Note: You may need to leave the system and return at a later time to complete your registration. It will be necessary to select the blue registration number pictured above in order to access your pending registration. Any attempt to start a new registration form from scratch will be met with an error message indicating that you are unable to start a new registration at this time. In addition, error messages sometimes occur after you’ve been issued a new certification to correct an error that was present on your original certification. You can contact the Department of Health via email at [email protected] if you require assistance for this type of error.
7. Keep in mind that the top two sections of the registration page that appears on your screen should already be filled in with information taken directly from the certification form that was issued by your certifying practitioner. It is up to you to contact your practitioner if you spot any information that appears to be incorrect.
Enter the ID number without spaces or dashes in the NYS ID field below if you have a New York driver’s license or New York non-driver ID. (You can then skip to step 10.) You will need to follow the instructions in step 9 if you do not have a New York driver’s license or New York non-driver ID. You will need to obtain another form of documentation that provides proof of residency if this is the case. However, you should not attempt to upload a copy of your NYS ID at this time.
8. It is important to remember that the residence address you must provide is the address that has been provided by your practitioner on your certification. You will need to upload a proof of residency document if your residence address is incorrect. You will also need to enter notes in the “Comments” column located beside the document upload.
You will need to select the “NO” option if your mailing address is different from your residential address. You will then need to supply your mailing address as pictured below. Please note that medical marijuana IDs cannot be forwarded by USPS for any reason.
9. You can upload supporting documents by clicking the “New Document” button and completing the directions that are shown. You can also click the button for “What supporting documents do I need?” to review additional information regarding the documents that are needed to go forward with the registration process. It is not necessary to upload a copy of the certification that has been issued by your practitioner.
10. You are able to designate up to two caregivers. You can do this by clicking the “Add Caregiver” button you see below. You will then need to complete the required fields and click the “Add” button. Please note that each person you’ve designated must then create their own My NY.gov account and formally register under caregiver status. In addition, all caregivers must have their own registry IDs. A caregiver will not be able to purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary on your behalf without their own ID.
11. There is a $50 application fee when applying for an ID. However, the Department of Health is currently waiving that fee for all patients and their designated caregivers. You can have this fee waived by selecting the “Bill Me Later” option when registering.
12. You will now need to read the acknowledgement section and answer the question that pertains to your photograph. You can then click the “Submit Registration” button that is pictured below. The “Submit Registration” button will not work if any required fields have been left incomplete. You have the option to save all current information and finish completing your application at a later time by clicking the “Save and Exit” button.
You will receive a message alerting you to the status of your registration once you’ve successfully submitted your registration form. The Department of Health will contact you at the telephone number that has been provided on the registration in the event that any additional information is needed to move the process along. You have the option to check the status of your registration at any time by visiting your account and selecting the “View My Registrations” option. You can then review the “Registration Status” column. You will know that your registry ID has been mailed out once you notice that your status has changed to “Active” on your account. It typically takes between seven and 10 business days for IDs to arrive. Please note that both your registry medical card and the original certification that was issued by your registered practitioner must go along with you when visiting a dispensary to obtain medical marijuana and other approved products.
B. Designated Caregiver Instructions
It is necessary for a designated caregiver to register with the program once a patient’s registration has been completed. Below are the steps for that process.
1. You should log into My NY.gov at https://my.ny.gov/ if you already have an account. You can visit https://my.ny.gov/ and click the “Don’t have an Account?” button to follow the necessary steps if you don’t already have an account. Be sure to keep a record of the username and password you create. They should not be shared with anyone.
Note: You can use the same account information that was used when you completed the patient registration process if you are acting as both a proxy applicant and a caregiver. Any other caregiver must create their own My NY.gov account at this point.
2. You should click on the Health Applications icon.
3. You will then click on the icon for the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS).
4. It is now time to select the “Add a Role” link in the right corner of your screen if you are acting as a proxy applicant. All other caregivers can simply skip to step five.
5. Select your appropriate caregiver role.
6. Go ahead and enter the information needed for each field before clicking the “Next” option.
7. Select “Register/View My Patients” just like you see pictured below.
8. You will now see the “My Patients” page. The designated caregiver can now select the patient and click the button for “Accept Designation and Register” just like you see below.
9. You should now see a registration screen for the caregiver. Please note that most of the fields should be populated with information that has been provided earlier in the application process.
a. A valid phone number must be provided in the appropriate field.
b. Take a moment to check that the residence address is correct. It will be necessary to upload a proof of residency and create a note with your attachment if the address you see is incorrect.
c. It will be necessary to update the carrier residence address if it is different from the mailing address.
10. There is a standard $50 fee for the application process. However, the Department of Health is currently waiving this fee. Select the “Bill Me Later” option to avoid this fee.
11. Take a moment to read the acknowledgement section once the application is complete. You will also need to answer the question regarding the photo shown on your ID. You should then hit the “Submit Registration” button just like you see below.
You have now completed your application to participate in the NY medical marijuana program. Your ID should arrive shortly. Please remember that both your Caregiver Registry Identification card and the ID of the patient you are visiting on the behalf of must be with you when you enter a participating dispensary.
C. Proxy Applicant Instructions
1. Log in to My NY.gov at https://my.ny.gov/. Anyone without an account may visit https://my.ny.gov/ and click on the “Don’t have an Account?” button. You will then be asked to follow a series of instructions. Keep a record of your user ID and password. Please remember that your password and ID should never be shared with anyone else.
2. Click on the Health Applications icon.
3. Click on the link that leads to the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS). You will then need to select one of the roles pictured below.
4. Accurately enter the information required for each field before clicking the “Next” option. The patient certification (PC) number that is requested can be found in the right-hand corner of the certification form that was issued by the patient’s registered practitioner.
5. You will need to select the option for “REGISTER/VIEW REGISTRATIONS” that is shown below.
6. The registration view should now be displayed on your screen. Click the option for “Start New Registration” that is shown below.
Note: You will need to select the blue registration number if you need to leave the application for a bit and come back to it at a later time. Do not select the option to “Start New Registration” if you need to come back. This will result in an error message.
7. The top two sections of the registration screen should already be filled in with information from the certification that was issued by the certifying practitioner once it loads. Take a moment to ensure that all of the information you see is accurate. You will need to contact the certifying practitioner if any information is incorrect.
You will need to enter the ID number of the patient’s New York driver’s license or New York non-driver ID in the NYS field that is provided. It is necessary to then skip to step 10. There is no need to upload a copy of a driver’s license or non-driver ID if you enter an NYS ID number.
8. Please note that the patient’s residence address will be the address that has been provided by the patient’s practitioner on the certification. You will need to upload a document for proof of residency if the address you see on the page is incorrect. It will also be necessary to add a comment regarding the necessary changes.
You may also have a situation where the patient’s mailing address is different from the residential address that is provided. You will need to enter the mailing address as shown below if that is the case.
9. You can upload supporting documents by selecting the “New Document” button that is shown below and going along with the instructions that appear on the screen. You will need to click on the “What supporting documents do I need?” link to view additional information regarding the documents that are required to go forward.
Select the “Choose a Value” option to use the drop-down menu to select the type of document that you are attaching.
10. You will need to supply contact information for the proxy applicant. This information will be used if the Department of Health needs to contact you for clarification on any matter. The information that is needed can be seen below.
11. Please note that you will need to designate at least one caregiver if you are completing this registration as a proxy applicant. The proxy applicant may also be the caregiver. You will need to select the “Add me as a caregiver” button if this is the case. The “Add caregiver” button can be selected when designating a different person as a caregiver.
You should now see the screen pictured below. All of the fields seen must be completed. You can then click the “Add” button once the fields are filled in.
The person who has been added as a caregiver is required to complete their own registration once a patient’s registration has been approved. The caregiver will then receive their own registry ID. Caregivers cannot purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary on a patient’s behalf without this ID.
12. There is a $50 application fee when completing a registration application. However, the Department of Health is currently waiving this fee for all patients and designated caregivers. You can opt out of paying the fee by simply selecting the “Bill Me Later” option.
13. You can then read the acknowledgement section and answer one final question regarding the patient’s photograph. Select the “Submit Registration” button shown below to complete the process.
The “Submit Registration” button will not work if all of the required fields are not complete. You have the option to hit the “Save and Exit” button if you’d like to complete the fields at a later time.
You can expect to receive a message regarding the status of a patient’s registration once your form has been submitted. The Department of Health will reach out to you at the telephone number provided on the registration if any additional information is required. You are able to check the status of a patient’s registration by visiting your account and selecting the “Register/View My Patients” option. You will know that a registration is complete once you see that it has been switched to “Active” status. It typically takes between seven and 10 business days for an ID to arrive once it has been mailed.