The New York State Medical Marijuana Program

Notice to our Valued Medical Marijuana Patients

Medical Marijuana Program operations remain the same

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) on March 31, 2021, legalizing adult-use cannabis (also known as marijuana, or recreational marijuana) in New York State. The legislation creates a new Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) governed by a Cannabis Control Board to oversee and implement the law.

The MRTA creates a first in the nation comprehensive regulatory structure to oversee the licensure, cultivation, production, distribution, sale and taxation of medical cannabis, adult-use cannabis, and cannabinoid hemp within New York State.

Although the MRTA includes provisions to expand the Medical Marijuana Program, at this time the current regulations and program operations remain the same. Click here to learn more about the future expansion of the Medical Marijuana Program.

For information regarding the MRTA and Adult-Use Cannabis visit the New York State Office of Cannabis Management 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