Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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 (as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)). 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.

2. 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.

3. How can I find a registered practitioner?

Patients seeking access to medical marijuana should first go to their treating practitioner. If a patient's treating practitioner is not already registered with the Department to certify patients for medical marijuana, information regarding practitioner registration can be found on the Department's website: Practitioner Education for the Medical Marijuana Program.

Patients may access a list of registered practitioners by clicking on the "Looking for a Registered Practitioner" button on the Medical Marijuana Program website's home page. A patient's treating practitioner can also make a referral to a registered practitioner using the Medical Marijuana Data Management System located within the Department's Health Commerce System (HCS).

4. May additional medical conditions be added to the list of conditions eligible for medical marijuana?

Yes, the Commissioner of Health may add other conditions to the list. In fact, the Commissioner recently made a determination to add chronic pain as a serious condition. Effective March 22, 2017, patients with "any severe debilitating pain that a 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;" may qualify for medical marijuana, so long as "there is documented medical evidence of such pain having lasted three months or more beyond onset, or the practitioner reasonably anticipates such pain to last three months or more beyond onset."

5. What forms and dosage amounts of medical marijuana are allowed?

The Commissioner must approve any form of medical marijuana. Approved forms include liquids and oil for vaporization or administration via inhaler as well as capsules to take orally. Under the law, smoking is not permitted and the regulations prohibit edibles.

The patient's certifying practitioner must include the following information on the patient's certification: the authorized brand and form of the approved medical marijuana, the administration method, and any limitations on the use of approved medical marijuana product. If a practitioner has a recommendation regarding dosage, it should also be included on the certification, although a recommendation on dosage is not required. Moreover, the total amount of product that may be dispensed may not exceed a thirty-day supply.

1. What do I do after I receive a certification from my registered practitioner?

Once you possess a certification from a registered practitioner, you must register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department's online Patient Registration System. You can find detailed instructions on the registration process, including how to register on behalf of a minor or an individual who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment, by visiting: Information for Patients

After your registration is processed, you will be issued a Registry Identification Card. Once you have received your registry identification card, you may visit a dispensing facility to obtain medical marijuana products. Dispensing facility locations can be found by clicking here: Registered Organizations

2. May I register on behalf of a minor or person who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment?

Yes. If the applicant for a registry identification card is under the age of eighteen (18) or a person who is otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment, the application must be submitted by an appropriate person over twenty-one (21) years of age. The applicant must designate at least one, and up to two, caregivers who must be among the following: (i) a parent or legal guardian of the certified patient; (ii) a person designated by a parent or legal guardian; or (iii) an appropriate person approved by the Department upon a sufficient showing that no parent or legal guardian is available or appropriate.

3. 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.

4. Do I have to pay to register as a patient or as a caregiver?

There is a non-refundable application fee of fifty dollars ($50) that the Department is currently waiving for all patients and their designated caregivers. Simply select "Bill Me Later" when registering and the application fee will be waived.

5. When can I expect my registry identification card to arrive?

Once the application to register has been submitted successfully and approved, please allow approximately seven business days to receive your Patient or Caregiver Registry ID Card. Once you have received your registry ID card you may visit a Registered Organization's dispensing facility to obtain medical marijuana products. Dispensing facility locations can be found by clicking here: Registered Organizations

6. Can I still register if a practitioner will not provide a certification?

No, a patient may not register without a certification from a registered practitioner.

1. Where can I find basic information about each Registered Organization?

Please visit the following link for information, including links to the Registered Organizations' websites: Registered Organizations

2. 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. For a list of locations in New York, please visit: Registered Organizations

3. Will every dispensing facility sell the same types of Medical Marijuana?

No. There are only two New York State-mandated products for Medical Marijuana (one with an equal ratio of THC to CBD, and one with a low-THC-high-CBD ratio) that must be offered by each Registered Organization. Each Registered Organization will also offer other products that have varying ratios of THC to CBD.

A variety of products are currently available to patients. Additional products will be offered over time.

4. When are dispensing facilities open?

The hours of operation for the dispensing facilities vary. Please contact or review the websites of the Registered Organizations for their dispensing facilities' hours of operation. Please note, however, that to control operating expenses that affect the prices of their products, Registered Organizations may limit hours of operation or require an appointment to purchase medical marijuana.

5. Will patients who are unable to go to a dispensing facility be able to have the product delivered to them?

Patients who are unable to go to dispensing facilities should designate a caregiver who can go for them. In addition, Registered Organizations are permitted to offer delivery services to patients and designated caregivers to help expand access to those who are unable to travel to a dispensing facility. Please check with the Registered Organizations to determine whether they provide delivery services in your area.

6. 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.

7. What should I do if the approved medical marijuana product is not helping me?

Work with your certifying practitioner to determine if a change in product, change in dose, or discontinuation of the product is appropriate.

8. What should I do if I think I'm having an adverse reaction to the approved medical marijuana product?

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room immediately. If you believe you are experiencing an adverse event from the approved medical marijuana product, contact your practitioner.

9. What should I do with expired/unwanted medical marijuana products?

Certified patients or their designated caregivers should dispose of expired or unwanted medical marijuana products by adding water to the medical marijuana and then dirt, coffee grounds, ashes or another undesirable substance, prior to disposal in the trash, to avoid accidental or intentional misuse of the product.

10. What if I need assistance obtaining medical marijuana from a dispensing facility because of my condition?

During the patient registration process, a certified patient may designate up to two (2) caregivers who may obtain medical marijuana on his or her behalf. After the patient's application for registration is approved, the designated caregiver(s) must also register with the Department. Detailed information on designating and becoming a caregiver is available here: Information for Patients

Registered organizations may also offer a delivery service. Please contact the registered organizations directly to determine if delivery services are offered in your area.

11. Can I use my out-of-state medical marijuana identification card to purchase medical marijuana in New York State?

No. Only certified patients with a New York State registry identification card may purchase approved medical marijuana products in New York State.

12. How will the Department ensure the quality of the products produced by the Registered Organizations?

The Department requires independent laboratory testing for every brand of product to be tested for any contaminants and to ensure product consistency. The Department's Wadsworth Center Laboratory will perform initial testing and analysis of final medical marijuana products until independent laboratories receive certification from the New York State Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP).

1. How did the New York State Department of Health Commissioner determine prices for Medical Marijuana?

Registered Organizations submitted to the Department their costs to manufacture, market and distribute products, and to certify that the information provided was accurate, complete and current. The Commissioner then determined the reasonableness of the proposed prices and approved them as the maximum price per dose each Registered Organization may charge.

2. Are prices for Medical Marijuana the same at all of the Registered Organizations?

No, prices vary among Registered Organizations.

3. Will Medical Marijuana prices change?

The Department's approved prices are in effect for the entire period of the Registered Organization's registration, until July 31, 2019. Registered organizations may charge less than the approved prices, so prices may vary. At the conclusion of the first year of the registration period, or beforehand based on documented exceptional circumstances, however, the Registered Organizations may request a price modification. In addition, if a Registered Organization adds a new product, it must submit revised production costs and other relevant data, along with the proposed price for the new product(s) to the Department for review and approval.

4. Where may patients find the prices of Medical Marijuana products?

Patients should contact Registered Organizations directly to obtain final prices, taking into account the dosing recommendations of their practitioner. The total amount a patient pays depends upon a patient's individual dosing needs and the resultant total quantity purchased.

5. Does New York State provide a discounted program for certified patients who cannot afford Medical Marijuana?

The Compassionate Care Act does not mandate a discounted Medical Marijuana pricing program, but allows Registered Organizations to provide discounted products. Some Registered Organizations may offer reduced prices for qualifying certified patients.

1. Why do practitioners have to take a four hour, department-approved medical use of marijuana course?

Pursuant to Public Health Law § 3360(12), in order to certify patients for the medical marijuana program, a practitioner must complete a two to four hour course as determined by the Commissioner of Health in regulation. Practitioner education requirements set forth in 10 NYCRR § 1004.1 further define the duration of the course to be four hours and include the following content: the pharmacology of marijuana; contraindications; side effects; adverse reactions; overdose prevention; drug interactions; dosing; routes of administration; risks and benefits; warnings and precautions; abuse and dependence; and such other components as determined by the Commissioner. The course will provide practitioners with information that will help as they evaluate their patients.

2. Who is providing the course?

TheAnswerPage and The Medical Cannabis Instituted are providing the course. Practitioners may choose to take the course from either course provider.

3. How were TheAnswerPage and The Medical Cannabis Institute selected as the course providers?

The Department posted an advertisement in the New York State Contract Reporter seeking up to two vendors to provide an online continuing medical education (CME) course to physicians and pharmacists across New York State on the medical use of marijuana. The Contract Reporter advertisement can be accessed through the following link: https://www.nyscr.ny.gov/agency/adsView.cfm?numID=2025118&page=Open%20Ad. In order to view the ad, users must first register for an account, then log-in and search for ad number2025118. TheAnswerPage and The Medical Cannabis Institute were selected as a part of this procurement process.

4. How are the four hour courses offered?

The courses are offered online, which will provide practitioners the ability to complete the course at their convenience.

5. Do the courses have to be completed all at once?

No. The courses may be taken in installments at the practitioner's convenience, however, practitioners are required to complete all four hours of coursework and receive a course completion certificate prior to registering with the Department of Health's Medical Marijuana Program.

6. How much will the courses cost to take?

A practitioner may choose from one of the two course providers. Please visit the web pages for TheAnswerPage and The Medical Cannabis Institute for information on pricing.

7. Will Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit be offered?

The four hour course provided by TheAnswerPage will offer 4.5 CME credits for practitioners and pharmacists who successfully complete the course. Continuing Education credits are currently NOT available for The Medical Cannabis Institute course.

8. Will pharmacists employed by the registered organization take the same course?

Yes. Pursuant to 10 NYCRR § 1004.21(d), pharmacists working in dispensing facilities must take the four hour course before they can counsel certified patients and designated caregivers on the use, administration, and risks associated with approved medical marihuana products.

9. Will Pharmacist Continuing Education credits be available?

Pharmacists who successfully complete one of the courses that provides continuing education credit may use the CME or ACPE credits toward their continuing education requirements.

10. How will a practitioner or pharmacist access the four hour online course?

Please visit the web page for the selected vendors:

11. When will a practitioner receive his or her course completion certificate after completing the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, practitioners will receive a course completion certificate through the course website.

12. Once a practitioner completes the course and receives a course completion certificate, when and how will he or she be able to register with the Department of Health's Medical Marijuana Program?

Practitioners who have completed the course and who wish to register with NYSDOH to certify patients for medical marijuana must follow the below steps:

  1. Log into the Health Commerce System,
  2. Select "All Applications" from the My Content dropdown menu,
  3. Click the "M" tab, find the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS) application in the list, and click the green and white "+" icon in the "Add/Remove" column to add the MMDMS application.
  4. After selecting the MMDMS application, practitioners will be prompted to enter information required to complete the registration process.

In order for Physician Assistants (PAs) to access the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS) to register with the Medical Marijuana Program and issue certifications for medical marijuana to patients, at least one of their registered supervising physicians must provide authorization within MMDMS. Instructions on how Registered Practitioners authorize Physician Assistants (PAs) under their supervision are included below. Once this step has been completed by the PA's supervising physician, the PA can access MMDMS to complete his or her registration with the Medical Marijuana Program.

  1. Log into the Health Commerce System (HCS).
  2. Select the MMDMS.
  3. Select Update My Information from the menu options listed at the top of the page.
  4. On the left side of the page, select the "Physician Assistant Management" button.
  5. Enter the Physician Assistant's HCS ID # in the space provided:
  6. If the search results match the information for the PA you wish to authorize, select "Authorize".

Any questions regarding the practitioner registration process should be emailed to mmp@health.ny.gov.

13. When will practitioners be able to certify patients?

Following successful completion of the course, and upon full compliance with the other requirements set forth in 10 NYCRR §1004.1(a), practitioners may register with the NYSDOH Medical Marijuana Program and begin certifying patients.

14. Can a practitioner or pharmacist take the courses solely for credit and not continue the process to register for the Medical Marijuana Program?

For those course(s) that provide continuing education credit, a practitioner or pharmacist may take the course solely for credit without registering with the Medical Marijuana Program.

15. If a practitioner is able to certify patients for medical marijuana in another state, can they receive reciprocity to certify patients in New York State?

No. Practitioners must be licensed, in good standing as a physician and practicing medicine, as defined in article one hundred thirty one of the Education Law in New York State, or be certified, in good standing as a nurse practitioner and practicing, as defined in Article 139 of the Education Law, in New York State, or be licensed, in good standing as a physician assistant and practicing in New York State, as defined in article 131-B of the Education Law, under the supervision of a physician registered with the New York State medical marijuana program and must complete the department-approved medical use of marijuana course.

16. Does a practitioner have to have a valid DEA registration number to register for the Medical Marijuana Program in order to be able to certify patients?

Yes. A valid DEA registration for New York is required to register for the Medical Marijuana Program in order to be able to certify patients.

1. Why does a PA's supervising physician have to be registered with the program before a PA can register?

A PA may perform medical services, but only under the supervision of a physician and only those medical services that are assigned to him or her. The medical services performed must be within the scope of practice of the supervising physician, therefore the supervising physician must be registered with the medical marijuana program before a PA can register.

2. Do I still need to complete the Medical Marijuana Program Authorization Form (DOH-5246) for Physician Assistant and Supervising Physician?

No. The process is now completed electronically by the supervising physician and the physician assistant (PA). The supervising physician must first provide authorization to the PA by following the steps below.

  1. Log into the Health Commerce System (HCS) https://commerce.health.state.ny.us/public/hcs_login.html.
  2. Select the MMDMS.
  3. Select Update My Information from the menu options listed at the top of the page.
  4. On the left side of the page, select the "Physician Assistant Management" button.
  5. Enter the Physician Assistant's HCS ID # in the space provided:
  6. If the search results match the information for the PA you wish to authorize, select "Authorize".

Once these steps have been completed by the PA's supervising physician, the PA will complete the registration process using the following instructions:

  1. Log into the Health Commerce System https://commerce.health.state.ny.us/public/hcs_login.html
  2. Select "All Applications" from the My Content dropdown menu.
  3. Click the "M" tab, find the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS) application in the list, and click the green and white "+" icon in the "Add/Remove" column to add the MMDMS application.
  4. After selecting the MMDMS application, practitioners will be prompted to enter information required to complete the registration process.

4. A PA works with two or more supervising physicians. Can the PA be authorized by more than one supervising physician?

Yes, the PA can be authorized by more than one supervising physician.

5. Must a PA have a DEA registration number to register with and certify patients for the MMP?

Yes

6. A PA's supervising physician does not participate in the MMP. How can a PA find a physician who participates in the program?

A PA may consult the practitioner list located within the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS) application of the Department of Health's Health Commerce System (HCS). A supervisory relationship with a physician who participates in the MMP must first be established, and a completed MMP Authorization form signed by both the PA and the supervising physician must be submitted to MMP.

7. Must Nurse Practitioners (NPs) submit an Authorization form to register with the MMP?

No. NPs work collaboratively with licensed physicians but are not required to practice under physician supervision. NPs who wish to certify patients for the MMP must still complete the educational requirement and register with the program.

8. When can PAs register with the Medical Marijuana Program?

Effective March 15, 2017, PAs may register with the Medical Marijuana Program. They must complete the Department-approved four hour medical marijuana education course and submit the signed Medical Marijuana Program Authorization Form for Physician Assistant and Supervising Physician to the Department prior to registration.

1. How does a registered practitioner issue a patient certification?

Instructions for registered practitioners on how to issue a patient certification, can be found at: Patient Certification Instructions.

2. Can a patient have more than one Active certification?

Patients cannot have multiple active certifications. If a patient has an Active certification, please work with the patient's existing practitioner to make any appropriate updates. If the patient is no longer being treated by the existing practitioner, please ensure the patient cancels their associated registration before issuing a new certification. If you have any questions, you may contact the Department at mmp@health.ny.gov or 1-866-811-7957.

3. I made a typographical error on the patient's certification. How do I correct it?

Please follow the below steps to notify the Department of the necessary updates.

  1. Step 1: Log-Into HCS
  2. Step 2: Select "MMDMS"
  3. Step 3: Select "Contact Us"
  4. Step 4: Complete the web form indicating the following information.
    • Patient's Certification #
    • Current Information that is incorrect
    • Correct Information to be entered.

4. How does a registered practitioner update the patient's dosing recommendation after the certification has been issued?

5. How can the practitioner verify the status of the patient's certification and/or registration?

  • Instructions for registered practitioners on how to verify the status of a patient's certification and/or registration can be found at: Patient Certification Instructions
  • Information regarding the process for patient registration is available on the following page: Information for Patients.

6. How does a practitioner cancel a patient's certification?

Registered practitioners may need to cancel a patient's certification for several reasons, including but not limited to: the death of a certified patient, change in serious condition, patient no longer residing or receiving treatment in New York State, or patient is being treated by a new practitioner. Instructions on how to cancel the certification can be found here: Patient Certification Instructions

1. Why did the Department issue emergency regulations for designated caregiver facilities?

Expanding existing regulations to allow facilities the option of becoming designated caregivers for certified patients will improve access and help prevent patients from experiencing adverse events associated with an abrupt discontinuation of a treatment alternative that provides relief for a severe debilitating or life-threatening condition.

2. Is it mandatory for a facility to become a designated caregiver for a patient?

No. It is not mandatory for facilities to become designated caregivers for patients.

3. What types of facilities can be designated as caregivers?

Facilities that can be designated are listed in Title 10 NYCRR § 1004.3(k) of the regulations, and include the following:

  • a general hospital or residential health care facility operating pursuant to Article 28 of the Public Health Law
  • an adult care facility operating pursuant to Title 2 of Article 7 of the Social Services Law
  • a community mental health residence established pursuant to section 41.44 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • a hospital operating pursuant to section 7.17 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • a mental hygiene facility operating pursuant to Article 31 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • an inpatient or residential treatment program certified pursuant to Article 32 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • a residential facility for the care and treatment of persons with developmental disabilities operating pursuant to Article 16 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • a residential treatment facility for children and youth operating pursuant to Article 31 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • a private or public school.

4. How does a facility register as a designated caregiver for a patient?

A designated caregiver facility form is available on the Department's Medical Marijuana Program website. This form must first be completed by the patient, or by an appropriate person over twenty-one years of age if the patient is under the age of eighteen or otherwise incapable of consenting to medical treatment. Once the patient designates the facility as a caregiver on the form, the facility must complete the additional sections on the form to register with the Department's Medical Marijuana Program. The form can be accessed through the following link: http://health.ny.gov/forms/doh-5256.pdf

5. Does the facility have to pay a registration fee?

Pursuant to PHL Section 3363(2)(f), there is a $50 application fee for designated caregivers to register with the department. However, the department is currently waiving the $50 application fee for all designated caregivers, including facilities registering as designated caregivers.

6. For how many patients may a designated caregiver facility serve?

A designated caregiver can serve up to five patients. However, within a facility, each division, department, component, floor or other unit of such facility shall be entitled to be considered a "facility" for purposes of the regulations.

7. How does a patient who already has two designated caregivers add a facility as a designated caregiver?

Registered patients may designate up to two caregivers. A registered patient may change their caregiver designation by logging into their my.ny.gov account and accessing the Medical Marijuana Data Management System (MMDMS) to update their caregiver designations.

8. Who within a designated caregiver facility can administer approved medical marijuana products to the patient?

Any facility employee deemed appropriate by the designated caregiver facility can administer approved medical marijuana products to the patient. Patients may also designate a caregiver outside of the facility (for example a friend or family member) to come and administer approved medical marijuana products to the patient at the facility. In addition, to the extent patients are capable, they may self-administer approved medical marijuana products.

9. How is a patient's approved medical marijuana product supplied to the facility for the patient?

The patient, or his or her designated caregiver(s) may purchase approved medical marijuana products from a registered organization's dispensing facility to bring to the facility. In addition, some registered organizations which provide delivery services may deliver directly to the patient or designated caregiver facility.

10. What if a facility does not want to be a designated caregiver?

Facilities are not required to become a patient's designated caregiver.

11. How should medical marijuana products be safeguarded within the facility?

Designated caregiver facilities should develop and follow internal policies and procedures—in conjunction and compliance with any entities that may oversee and/or regulate the facility—that provide for storage of approved medical marijuana products in a secure manner so as to prevent diversion.

12. How should medical marijuana products be disposed of?

When disposing of approved medical marijuana products, it must always be done in a manner that renders the product nonrecoverable beyond reclamation. It is recommended that unused or unwanted product be returned to the certified patient or a designated caregiver who is a natural person for destruction. If the product cannot be returned, the designated caregiver facility must dispose of the product in a manner that renders it nonrecoverable beyond reclamation. Approved medical marijuana products cannot be disposed of using medication drop boxes, DEA drug take-back events or via Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement drug destructions. Designated caregiver facilities should develop policies and procedures that provide for the method of destruction and recordkeeping of disposal.

13. Must a practitioner working in a designated caregiver facility be registered with the Medical Marijuana Program to issue an order for administration or self- administration of medical marijuana in the facility?

No. A practitioner must be registered with the Medical Marijuana Program to issue a certification to a patient, but registration is not required merely to issue an order for administration or self-administration of medical marijuana within the facility.

14. What if a patient needs a change in medical marijuana treatment necessitating a change to the patient's certification while the patient is in the facility?

The patient, the patient's designated caregiver, or the designated caregiver facility must work with the patient's certifying practitioner to make changes to the patient's certification.

15. Can the patient in a designated caregiver facility self-administer if deemed capable of self-administration?

Yes, if permitted to do so by the facility's policies and procedures. In addition, Title 10 NYCRR § 405.5, has been amended to allow for the self-administration of approved medical marijuana products in hospitals. There are certain limitations prohibiting vaporization in public places, as outlined in 10 NYCRR § 1004.18.