The New York State Medical Marijuana Program

Enhancements To The Medical Marijuana Program

On October 21, 2021, the Cannabis Control Board advanced regulations for public comment that will allow for the home cultivation of cannabis for certified medical patients. The regulations follow the requirements of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which continues to expand patient access to medical marijuana. The proposed regulations will be subject to a 60-day public comment period when filed in the New York State Register. Certified patients and designated caregivers are not allowed to legally cultivate medical cannabis at home until the regulations have been formally adopted. Please continue to monitor this website for notice of adoption of the home cultivation regulations. Click here to read the proposed regulations.

Questions or comments on the proposed regulations should be directed to: regulations@ocm.ny.gov
or mailed to us at:

New York State Office of Cannabis Management
PO Box 2071
Albany, NY 12220

The following programmatic enhancements were implemented, and are effective as of October 5, 2021:

  • The addition of whole flower cannabis for vaporization as an approved form of medical cannabis. Whole flower cannabis products are NOT available at the registered organization dispensing facilities yet. The Department is working on brand reviews and approvals for those registered organizations who have proposed this new form. Whole flower products will be available to patients once all approvals are received on the final products. Please reach out to the registered organization dispensing facility to find out when they anticipate having whole flower products available.
  • The temporary waiver of the fifty-dollar ($50) patient and caregiver registration fee has been made permanent.
  • Registered organizations may now dispense up to a sixty (60) day supply of medical marijuana to a registered patient, per the recommendations on the certification issued by their practitioner.
  • The types of practitioner who can certify patients for the medical use of marijuana has been expanded to include anyone who is licensed, registered, or certified by New York State to prescribe controlled substances to humans within the State such as dentists, podiatrists, and midwives. Practitioners will still be required to complete at least a two-hour course and register with the Department before they can begin certifying patients for medical cannabis.

For information regarding the MRTA and adult-use cannabis visit the New York State OCM website at: www.cannabis.ny.gov .

Please continue to monitor this website for any future updates to the Medical Cannabis Program.

Guidance on Use of Vaping Products for Medical Marijuana Patients

The NYS Department of Health urges all New Yorkers to stop using vape products until the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated serious pulmonary (lung) illnesses nationwide can be better determined. Since the investigation into the illnesses began, there have been no reports of adverse events associated with approved products in the NYS Medical Marijuana Program related to the outbreak. Medical marijuana products are approved by the Department and rigorously tested for contaminants, pesticides and concentration of cannabinoids, including, but not limited to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). However, out of an abundance of caution, we are also urging patients in the medical marijuana program to consult with their health care providers on potential alternatives to vaping products while the investigation continues.

For more information about vaping-associated illnesses, click here.

Medicaid Policy Clarification Issued Regarding Coverage for Office Visits with Medicaid Participating Providers Related to Medical Marijuana:

Medical marijuana products are not a covered benefit under New York State Medicaid. However, practitioner office visits related to patient evaluation and certification for medical marijuana are Medicaid reimbursable services. Practitioners who participate with Medicaid are prohibited from requesting payment for medical marijuana certification from the member, regardless of whether the certification is provided during the initial office visit or subsequent to the initial visit. Patients insured with Medicaid who use out-of-network or non-Medicaid providers for evaluation and certification may still be charged a fee for the evaluation and certification visit. To avoid confusion, patients are advised to verify that their evaluating and certifying practitioner participates with Medicaid prior to their appointment.

Further details on this covered benefit can be accessed from the following link: Policy Clarification – Medical Marijuana

Department of Financial Services (DFS) Guidance to Health Insurers Regarding Coverage for Office Visits Related to Medical Marijuana

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued guidance to health insurers regarding coverage for office visits related to medical marijuana. The guidance from DFS may be accessed by clicking on the following link: https://www.dfs.ny.gov/reports_and_publications/press_releases/pr1704121

The Department Announces Updates to the Medical Marijuana Program