The Best Way to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

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New York was notorious until recently for having one of the most stringent medical marijuana programs in the United States although their laws were not much different from any other state with legalized pot, it was inconvenient, time-consuming and expensive for residents to go through the proper channels of getting a qualified MMJ card. So, here’s how to get a medical marijuana card in NY.

Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

Things to Know Before Applying for a MMJ Card:

  1. Patients must be 18 years of age or older. If the patient is below the age of eighteen, an approved caregiver must be appointed and registered on the patient's behalf.
  2. Patients must be New York State residents and provide evidence by providing a copy of the current address of a New York State Driver's License or State Identification Card issued.
  3. A certified practitioner must evaluate the patient.
  4. Patients must be diagnosed with one or more qualification conditions.
  5. A My.NY.Gov account must be created by patients.
  6. Then patients must submit their application online through the NYS Patient Registry. 
    • For all patients and designated caregivers, the application fee is $50.00.
    • Up to two caregivers can be designated by patients.
  7. If the application is approved, the state will issue a temporary registry identification card to purchase approved Medical Marijuana products through their My. account. Identification cards for medical marijuana will be sent to the address listed in the application.

New York Residency:

Medical Marijuana Card

The first step is to determine if you meet the program's residency criteria. You must be able to demonstrate current residency in New York State to participate in the medical marijuana program in New York. One of the following proofs of residency will need to be provided:

  • New York State Driver License or New York State Non-Driver ID Card identification number.
  • Copy an identification card issued by the government containing your name and the address of the State of New York.
  • Copy of a utility bill or other document showing your residency issued in the last two months. Your name and address must be included in the document.
  • Copy of an existing lease or similar document showing your New York State residency.
  • Other DOH approved documentation containing sufficient information to demonstrate proof of residence in New York State.

Temporary residents who receive treatment for a qualifying medical condition in New York may demonstrate residence by providing a lease, utility bill, hospital bill, or other documentation as approved by the Health Department.

Qualifying Conditions

Patients must have a qualifying condition and experience associated with or complicating symptoms to participate in the medical marijuana program in New York. The medical conditions for qualifying are as follows:

  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  2. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  3. Cancer
  4. Chronic pain
  5. Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  6. Crohn’s disease
  7. Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with an objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  8. Epilepsy
  9. Huntington’s disease
  10. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  11. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  12. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  13. Neuropathies
  14. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  15. Parkinson’s disease
  16. Ulcerative colitis

Patients also suffering from a severe weakening or life-threatening condition or any of the following conditions where the complication of a condition under this paragraph or its treatment is clinically associated with it:

  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Chronic pain

Patient Certification

If you can prove NY residency and have a qualifying medical condition, the next step is to get a patient certification from a participating physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. It is important, to be honest about your health situation when discussing medical marijuana with your care provider and explain why you believe medical marijuana treatment will be beneficial to you. They must submit a patient certification form on your behalf if they agree to approve you for the program.

The doctor or nurse must be registered with the medical marijuana program in New York for approval. If your doctor or nurse has not registered with the program yet, these instructions must be followed in order to register. If you are not willing or unable to issue a patient certification for you, your care provider may refer you to a practitioner who is registered with the program.

Patient Application

You will need to complete an online patient application for a medical marijuana program once you have received your patient certification. The first step is to create an account at and to access the online application form, click on "Health Applications" and then "Medical Marijuana Data Management System." The form will ask you for specific information, including your New York residency verification. You will receive your medical marijuana card in the mail if your application is approved.


During the application process, each patient can appoint up to two caregivers. A caregiver is a trusted person you choose to make on your behalf dispensary purchases if you are unable to visit in person. Once your application is approved, the online system will require your caregivers to register.

Dispensary Visit

You are ready to start making purchases at the dispensary once you have your card in hand. New York MMJ cards are good for a year. Similar to most states, the renewal process is the same as getting a new card–you'll need to re-submit your application once a year, that includes $50 application fee. also has a search feature that allows you to find a nearby dispensary.

Karly Millar

    Karly Millar

    A Doctor of Public Health, Karly Millar has accrued more than ten years of experience, making a name for herself as a researcher, writer, policy analyst, and project manager specializing in public health and international development. She earned her PhD in Community and Behavioural Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, her Master’s Degree in Global Health and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, and her Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Biomedical Sciences (with minours in Biology and Psychology) at the University of Waterloo.

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