New York Legal Information

In June 2014, the New York Assembly passed S7923, which created legal protections for patients and caregivers and authorized the Department of Health (DOH) to license and regulate “registered organizations” to cultivate and sell medical cannabis to patients. Patients must obtain a registration identification card after getting written certification from their physician. The law requires physicians to take education, and state the “dosage” patients should use, which determines the 30-day supply of medicine that the patient may possess. The law forbids the smoking of cannabis by patients but does not explicitly ban patients from accessing cannabis in its dried flower form.

DOH granted 5 entities licenses in July 2015 and began issuing patient ID cards in December 2015. In November 2015, Gov. Cuomo signed AB 7060, an amendment to the Compassionate Care Act which expedited access to medical cannabis to critically ill patients ahead of the full opening of registered organizations in 2016.

In January 2016, dispensaries began serving medical cannabis patients. In 2016, DOH added chronic pain as a qualifying condition and updated the regulations to allow nurse practitioners to recommend medical cannabis, allow home delivery, allow registered organizations to sell “wholesale” products to other registered organizations to prevent supply shortages, and removed the five “brands” limit on products offered to patients. 

In August of 2017, The Department of Health published regulations  which added lotions, patches, chewable tablets and lozenges as acceptable methods of administration. These regulations also improved the dispensing experience by allowing patients to speak directly to a dispensary representative and for caregivers to accompany patients into dispensaries.  

In This Section

New York Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations

New York’s medical marijuana law took effect in 2014. It allows licensed health care practitioners to recommend the use of cannabis for patients with a variety of medical conditions. This section includes actual text of the legislation, a brief summary of the law and links to general resources for patients, providers and health care practitioners.

Becoming a Patient in New York

In order to become a medical cannabis patient, a person must reside in New York and register with the State’s Department of Health. Some of the qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. This section includes an overview of state requirements for “qualifying patients” and links to necessary forms.

Recommending Cannabis in New York

Health care professionals recommending medical cannabis must be licensed to do so by the State of New York. Physicians, physician’s assistants, and registered nurses have the authority to recommend medical cannabis. This section includes an overview of state requirements for recommending physicians and links to necessary forms.

Becoming a Caregiver, Producer, or Provider in New York

Every state has varying laws and regulations for caregivers, cultivators and medical cannabis providers. This section includes an overview of state requirements for both designated caregivers and registered organizations, as well as links to necessary forms.

Facing state or federal charges?

Unfortunately, patients, caregivers, and providers are still vulnerable to federal and state arrests, prosecutions, and incarceration. They also suffer pervasive discrimination in employment, child custody, housing, public accommodation, education and medical care.