Medical Marijuana Program Certified Patient/Caregiver FAQs

How do I know if I qualify to register as a certified patient?

In order to register as a certified patient, a person must (1) be a resident of New York State, or be temporarily residing in New York State for the purpose of receiving care and treatment within the state and (2) possess a certification issued by a physician who is registered with the New York State Department of Health's Medical Marijuana Program. Patients must have one of the following specific severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions: cancer, positive status for HIV or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, and Huntington's disease. The severe, debilitating or life-threatening condition must be accompanied by one of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

How do I prove that I am a resident of New York State?

The certified patient may provide the ID number from his or her New York State Driver's License or New York State Non-Driver ID Card on the application.

What if I'm a New York State Resident but I don't have a New York State-issued Driver's License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

If a certified patient does not possess or cannot obtain a New York State Driver's License or New York State Non-Driver Identification Card, one or more of the following must be submitted during the application process:

  • A copy of a government-issued identification card that contains the certified patient's name and New York State address. If the applicant is under the age of eighteen (18), the parent or legal guardian applying on behalf of the applicant must submit a copy of the parent or legal guardian's state or government issued identification and a copy of the applicant's birth certificate;
  • A copy of a utility bill or other document issued within the previous two (2) months indicating the certified patient's residency. This document must contain the certified patient's name and address;
  • A copy of a current lease or similar document indicating the certified patient's residency within New York State; or
  • Other documentation as approved by the Department containing sufficient information to show proof of residency in New York State.

How do I prove that I am receiving care and treatment in New York if I am not a New York State resident?

Non-New York State Residents who wish to register with the program must provide documentation showing proof of temporary residence in New York State. Documentation may include but is not limited to:

  • A copy of a lease;
  • A utility bill;
  • A hospital bill; or
  • Other documentation as approved by the Department containing sufficient information to show proof of temporary residency in New York State.

How do I obtain a certification?

Please speak with your treating physician about whether the medical use of marijuana is appropriate for your condition. Once your physician is registered with the medical marijuana program and concludes that medical marijuana is clinically appropriate for you, he or she may issue a certification for the medical use of marijuana to you.

How can I obtain a certification if my physician is not registered with the Medical Marijuana Program?

First, please speak with your treating physician to determine if medical marijuana is appropriate for your condition. If your treating physician would like to register with the program, additional information can be found on the Department's website: Practitioner Education for the Medical Marijuana Program.

If my treating physician will not register with the program, how do I find a registered physician?

The Department cannot refer you to a registered physician. It is the patient's responsibility to identify and consult with a registered physician. You may wish to speak with your physician to see if he or she can refer you to a registered physician in your area.

Can I still register if my physician won't provide a certification?

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

How do I register?

To register with the Medical Marijuana program, a patient must possess a valid New York State Department of Health (DOH) Medical Marijuana Program certification issued and signed by his or her physician, who has registered with the program. Instructions to begin the application process can be found on the DOH Medical Marijuana Program website (http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/) and on the certification provided by the physician.

Do I have to pay to register?

A non-refundable application fee of fifty dollars ($50) will be billed to you at a later date. The Department may waive or reduce the fee in cases of financial hardship.

How does a certified patient or designated caregiver demonstrate financial hardship?

Certified patients and designated caregivers seeking a waiver from the $50 registration fee due to financial hardship will be required to upload proof of Medicaid eligibility, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). A certified patient or designated caregiver seeking a waiver using other documentation must contact DOH and provide the other documentation to determine if it is acceptable proof of financial hardship. DOH has the authority to make the final determination as to financial hardship.

May I apply 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.

May someone receive medical marijuana from a dispensing facility on my behalf?

Yes, but only a designated caregiver. A certified patient may designate up to two (2) designated caregivers, who may assist in receiving medical marijuana on behalf of the certified patient. After the patient's application for registration is approved, the designated caregiver(s) must also register.

May I designate anyone as my caregiver?

A designated caregiver may not be the certified patient's practitioner, may not be a designated caregiver for more than five (5) certified patients at any given time, and must be a resident of New York State.

How do I designate a caregiver?

A certified patient may designate up to two (2) designated caregivers on the registration application.

How do I register with the program as a caregiver?

A patient who is registered with the program will first need to designate you as a caregiver during the patient registration process. Upon approval of the patient's registration, the caregiver(s) will be able to register. 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 NYS Driver's License or New York State Non-Driver ID card.

Is there a fee to become a designated caregiver?

A non-refundable application fee of fifty dollars ($50) will be billed to you at a later date. The Department may waive or reduce the fee in cases of financial hardship.

Once I register, when can I start obtaining medical marijuana?

Once you have received your registry ID card, you may visit a registered organization's dispensing facility to obtain medical marijuana products.

When can I expect my registry identification card to arrive?

Once the application to register has been submitted successfully and approved, please allow approximately one to two weeks 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.

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 current locations in New York, please click Selected Applicants

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.

How do I contact DOH with a question about the Medical Marijuana Program?

You can reach the Medical Marijuana Program by emailing mmp@health.ny.gov or calling 1-866-811-7957.