Obtaining Medical Cannabis
1. What conditions make me eligible to get medical cannabis?
You may be eligible for the use of medical cannabis for any condition deemed clinically appropriate by your health care provider. Please talk to your health care provider about whether medical cannabis may help you.
2. What is the first step to obtaining medical cannabis?
The first step is speaking with your treating health care provider about whether the medical use of cannabis is appropriate for your condition. Your health care provider may issue you a certification if medical cannabis is an appropriate treatment for you.
3. How can I find a health care provider who can certify me for medical cannabis?
Patients seeking access to medical cannabis should first go to their health care provider. If a patient's health care provider does not already certify patients for the use of medical cannabis and would like to, they can find information on the OCM website.
Patients may access a list of health care providers who certify patients here.
4. What forms and dosage amounts of medical cannabis are allowed?
Registered organizations may only manufacture medical cannabis products in forms approved by the Office of Cannabis Management.
Some examples of medical cannabis products that are available are vape cartridge/pen, capsule/tablets, tincture, oral spray, oral powder, lozenges, metered ground plant preparation for vaporization, whole flower cannabis for vaporization and transdermal patches. Seeds and immature plants for home cultivation are also available for sale to certified patients or their designated caregivers at some registered organizations dispensing locations. Patients should contact registered organizations directly to learn what products they have availavble. More information about registered organizations can be found here.
5. Can I legally grow my own medical cannabis at home?
Yes. Effective October 5, 2022 certified patients and designated caregivers twenty-one years of age or older who are registered with the Medical Cannabis Program will be able to cultivate cannabis at home for patients’ personal use.
For more information on home cultivation of medical cannabis, click on the links below.
1. What do I do after I receive a certification from my certifying health care provider?
Once you possess a certification, you may visit a medical dispensary in NYS to purchase product! Be sure to bring the certification, which includes a registry ID number on it, and your government issued photo ID to the dispensary.
2. How do I register with the program as a caregiver?
A patient must first designate you as a caregiver. After the patient has designated you as a caregiver, you must register as well.
NOTE: Patients under the age of 18 or incapable of consent are required to have one designated caregiver who will be auto-registered at the time of certification by the certifying health care provider. The caregiver will be able to bring the patient’s certification, the caregiver registry ID and their government-issued photo ID to the dispensary.
3. Will I receive a permanent registry ID card?
As of 03/20/2023, Registry ID cards are no longer being issued. Patient certifications will contain a registry ID number to be used in conjunction with a government issued photo ID to purchase medical cannabis products at the registered organization’s dispensary
1. Where can I find basic information about each registered organization?
Information about registered organizations can be found here.
2. Where can I purchase medical cannabis products?
A certified patient may purchase medical cannabis from any registered organization’s dispensing facility in New York State. Some registered organizations offer home delivery as well. Click here for a list of registered organization locations in New York.
3. Will every dispensing facility sell the same types of Medical Cannabis?
No. Please contact the registered organization directly to learn more about the products they have available. Contact information may be found here. Registered organizations must make available at least one brand that has an equal ratio of THC to CBD, and one brand with a low-THC-high-CBD ratio). Each registered organization will also offer other products that have varying ratios of THC to CBD.
4. Will every dispensing facility sell the same medical cannabis seeds and plants for home cultivation?
No. Not all registered organizations sell the same types of medical cannabis products including seeds or plants for home cultivation. Please contact the registered organization directly to learn more about the products they have available.
5. 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 by clicking here.
6. How much medical cannabis can I get at a time?
Registered organizations may dispense up to a 60-day supply of medical cannabis to a certified patient or designated caregiver, pursuant to any recommendations or limitations made by the health care provider on the certification.
7. What should I do if the approved medical cannabis product is not helping me?
Work with your certifying health care provider or a dispensing facility pharmacist 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 cannabis 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 that is not life-threatening from the approved medical cannabis product, you can report the incident using the online incident reporting form found here: https://cannabis.ny.gov/report-an-incident.
9. What should I do with expired/unwanted medical cannabis products?
Certified patients or their designated caregivers should dispose of expired or unwanted medical cannabis products by adding water to the medical cannabis 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 cannabis from a dispensing facility?
Registered organizations may offer a delivery service. Please contact the registered organizations directly to determine if delivery services are offered in your area.
Patients may also designate up to 5 caregivers who may obtain medical cannabis on their behalf.
11. Can I use my out-of-state medical cannabis identification card to purchase medical cannabis in New York State?
No. Only certified patients with a New York State registry identification card may purchase approved medical cannabis products in New York State.
12. How will the OCM ensure the quality of the products produced by the registered organizations?
The OCM requires independent laboratory testing for every brand of manufactured medical cannabis product to be tested for any contaminants and to ensure product consistency.
A list of laboratories approved for medical cannabis testing in New York and their contact information can be found here: https://cannabis.ny.gov/cannabis-laboratories.
1. How are medical cannabis prices determined?
Please contact the registered organizations directly for additional information regarding their pricing, which may include their costs to manufacture, market and distribute products.
2. Are prices for Medical Cannabis the same at all of the registered organizations?
No, prices vary among registered organizations.
3. Will Medical Cannabis prices change?
Medical cannabis prices could change. Additionally, registered organizations may offer discount programs to help patients with the cost of medical cannabis. Please contact the registered organizations directly for additional information regarding their pricing, which may include their costs to manufacture, market and distribute products.
4. Where may patients find the prices of Medical Cannabis products?
Patients should contact registered organizations directly to obtain final prices. The total amount a patient pays depends upon a patient's individual dosing needs, taking into account the dosing recommendations of their certifying health care provider. A list of registered organizations can be found here: https://cannabis.ny.gov/dispensing-facilities.
5. Does New York State provide a discounted program for certified patients who cannot afford Medical Cannabis?
Registered organizations may provide discounted products or reduced prices for certified patients. Check with the registered organization to find out more information regarding any financial assistance programs they may offer.
Health Care Providers
Health Care Provider Course
1. Why do health care providers have to take an OCM-approved medical use of cannabis course?
Article 3 § 30(10) of the cannabis law requires health care providers to complete a minimum of a two-hour course in order to certify patients for the medical cannabis program.
2. What information is included in the OCM-approved medical use of cannabis courses?
The following content is required: the pharmacology of cannabis; 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 OCM. The course will provide health care providers with information that will help as they evaluate their patients.
3. Who is providing the course?
The OCM has approved the following providers to offer the required course(s): For additional information or to enroll in a course, click the course provider’s name below to be redirected to its website.
CME credits offered
AMA, PRA Category 1 Credits™, ACPE, AANP, ANCC, APA, and AGD
AMA, PRA Category 1 Credits™, ACPE, AANP, ANCC, APA, and AGD
|The Medical Cannabis Institute
Authored by the
Society of Cannabis Clinicians
|The Medical Cannabis Institute||4 hours||Yes||Yes||$179||Yes|
|Medical Marijuana 411||4 hours||Yes||Yes||$179||Yes|
|Medical Cannabis Mentor||4 hours||Yes||Yes||$150||No|
|Universal Education Services||4 hours||Yes||Yes||$145||No|
4. How are the courses offered?
The courses are offered online, which will provide health care providers 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 health care provider's convenience. All course providers offer 12 months of access to content, however, health care providers are required to complete all coursework and receive a course completion certificate prior to registering with the OCM’s Medical Cannabis Program.
6. Will pharmacists employed by the Registered Organization take the same course?
Yes. Pharmacists and health care providers 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 cannabis products.
7. When will a health care provider receive their course completion certificate after completing the course?
Upon successful completion of the course, health care providers will receive a course completion certificate through the course website.
8. Once a health care provider completes the course and receives a course completion certificate, how do they begin issuing patient certifications?
Health care providers who have completed the course and who wish to certify patients for medical cannabis must follow the below steps:
First Time Users:
- Log into the Health Commerce System (HCS).
- From My Content (top banner menu) → All Applications → “M” → Medical Cannabis Data Management System.
- Click on the green plus sign. This will add the MCDMS application to your personal “My Applications” menu.
- Click on the Medical Cannabis Data Management System link.
- Follow the prompts to access the system.
- Log into the HCS.
- From My Applications (left hand side menu), select Medical Cannabis DMS.
Any questions regarding health care provider access to MCMDS should be emailed to [email protected].
9. When will health care providers be able to certify patients?
Following successful completion of the course, and upon full compliance with the other requirements set forth in 9 NYCRR § 113.19, health care providers may log into the Medical Cannabis Data Management System (MCDMS) application within the Health Commerce System, enter the required information and begin certifying patients immediately.
10. Can a health care provider or pharmacist take the courses solely for credit and not issue certifications to patients within the Medical Cannabis Program?
Health care providers or pharmacists may take the course(s) and not issue certifications to patients. At this time continuing education credits are only available through The Medical Cannabis Institute, Medical Marijuana 411, and TheAnswerPage.com.
11. If a health care provider is able to certify patients for medical cannabis in another state, can they receive reciprocity to certify patients in New York State?
No. Health care providers must be licensed, registered or certified by New York state to prescribe controlled substances within the state.
12. Does a health care provider have to have a valid DEA registration number to be able to certify patients?
Yes. A valid DEA registration for New York is required to certify patients for the Medical Cannabis Program .
1. How does a health care provider issue a patient certification?
Instructions for health care providers on how to issue a patient certification, can be found by visiting https://cannabis.ny.gov/practitioners.
2. I made a typographical error on the patient's certification. How do I correct it?
Instructions for health care providers on how to edit a patient’s certifications can be found by visiting https://cannabis.ny.gov/practitioners.
3. How does a health care provider update recommendations made on a certification after the certification has been issued?
Instructions for health care providers on how to change recommendations can be found by visiting https://cannabis.ny.gov/practitioners.
4. How can the health care provider verify the status of the patient's certification and/or registration?
- Instructions on how to verify the status of a patient's certification and/or registration can be found by visiting https://cannabis.ny.gov/practitioners.
- Information regarding the process for patient registration is available on the following page: https://cannabis.ny.gov/patients.
5. How does a health care provider cancel a patient's certification?
Canceling an active certification should be performed only when needed. If you are canceling the certification due to a data entry error, first check if you may edit the certification to correct the error. Instructions for editing certifications may be found here: https://cannabis.ny.gov/practitioners.
Instructions on how to cancel the certification can be found at https://cannabis.ny.gov/practitioners.
1. 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.
2. What types of facilities can be designated as caregivers?
Facilities that can be designated are listed in Article 1 §3 (21) of the MRTA, 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.
- a research institution with an internal review board.
- or any other facility as determined by the Office.
3. How does a facility register as a designated caregiver for a patient?
A designated caregiver facility form is available here: Facility Caregiver Designation Form
4. How many patients may a designated caregiver facility serve?
There is no limit on the number of patients that a designated caregiver facility may serve.
5. Who within a designated caregiver facility can administer approved medical cannabis products to the patient?
Any facility employee deemed appropriate by the designated caregiver facility can administer approved medical cannabis 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 cannabis products to the patient at the facility. In addition, to the extent patients are capable, they may self-administer approved medical cannabis products.
6. How is a patient's approved medical cannabis product supplied to the facility for the patient?
The patient, or his or her designated caregiver(s) may purchase approved medical cannabis 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. A copy of the patient’s registry ID card and a copy of the OCM approved facility caregiver form must be presented to the registered organization in order to purchase the product on behalf of the patient.
7. How should medical cannabis 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 cannabis products in a secure manner so as to prevent diversion.
8. How should medical cannabis products be disposed of?
When disposing of approved medical cannabis 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 cannabis 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 record-keeping of disposal.
9. Must a health care provider working in a designated caregiver facility be a certifying health care provider with the Medical Cannabis Program to issue an order for administration or self- administration of medical cannabis in the facility?
No. A certifying health care provider must issue a certification to a patient, but participating with the Medical Cannabis Program is not required merely to issue an order for administration or self-administration of medical cannabis within the facility.
10. What if a patient needs a change in medical cannabis treatment causing 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 health care provider to make changes to the patient’s existing certification.
11. Can the patient in a designated caregiver facility self-administer medical cannabis products if deemed capable of self-administration?
Yes, if permitted to do so by the facility’s policies and procedures. In addition, 9 NYCRR § 113.19, has been amended to allow for the self-administration of approved medical cannabis products in hospitals. There are certain limitations prohibiting vaporization in public places, as outlined in 9 NYCRR § 113.19.
Opioid Use as a Qualifying Condition
1. How long must I have tried opioids to qualify for the “Opioid Replacement” condition?
The regulations do not require a patient to try opioids first. The patient must be certified by a certifying practitioner health care provider for this qualifying condition to purchase medical cannabis.
2. Am I eligible to use medical cannabis after a surgery instead of using opioids?
Yes. Patients have the option to use medical cannabis instead of, or in conjunction with, opioids for post-operative pain management. Patients must be certified by a certifying health care provider. Patients can check with the facility where surgery will take place about policies and procedures related to use of medical cannabis while in the facility.
3. Can a patient be prescribed opioids and receive a certification for medical cannabis?
There is no regulation that prohibits the use of opioids and medical cannabis at the same time. The decision of appropriate therapy will be at the discretion of the health care provider certifying the patient.
4. Can patients with Opioid Use Disorder be certified for medical cannabis?
Yes. Substance Use Disorder was added as a qualifying condition.
5. Do health care providers need a special identification number from the DEA, as they do with buprenorphine, to recommend medical cannabis for patients with Opioid Use Disorder?
There is no special identification number required from the DEA for a health care provider to certify a patient for opioid use disorder.
6. Are there limits to the amount of medical cannabis that can be recommended for patients using medical cannabis as a substitute to opioids for acute pain?
Patients can purchase up to a 60-day supply of medical cannabis. The health care provider can limit dosing recommendations, and/or issue the certification for a specified date that is less than a year. The health care provider should use professional judgement to determine the appropriate length of treatment. When dispensing to patients, registered organizations must follow the recommendations or limitations provided by the certifying health care provider.
7. If a patient already has a prescription for an opioid, can the patient use the prescription to purchase product at a registered organization’s dispensing facility?
No. The patient must be certified by a certifying health care provider to purchase medical cannabis.
1. Do I have to register in order to purchase product?
You no longer have to register with OCM. You will be auto-registered when you are certified by the health care provider. Your certification will include a registry ID number. You will need to bring the certification and your government-issued photo ID to the dispensary.
2. Why do I have to present a government issued photo ID when using my registry ID?
Registered organizations are required to verify your identity using both your active certification and a government-issued photo ID.
3. Does a designated facility caregiver get a registry ID?
Facilities who have submitted the required designated facility caregiver form to the OCM, and whose registration as a facility caregiver has been approved, will be issued a Designated Facility Caregiver Registration in the approval response sent via email.
Advertising, Education & Outreach
1. Is a registered organization permitted to hold community outreach and patient education events pertaining to the New York State Medical Cannabis Program?
Yes, however all regulations must be followed that pertain to advertising and marketing, which can be found in 9 NYCRR § 113.17. Please keep in mind the prohibitions within 9 NYCRR § 113.22 and 9 NYCRR § 113.23 as you plan events.
2. Can a registered organization hold seminars and other associated educational events for certifying health care providers?
Educational events sponsored by registered organizations for certifying health care provider are permitted. However, persons associated with a registered organization are prohibited from entering into any agreement with a certifying health care provider that would adversely affect a person's freedom to choose which dispensing facility to purchase approved medical cannabis products from. In addition, regulations prohibit certifying health care providers from directly or indirectly accepting, soliciting or receiving any item of value from a registered organization. An item of value includes, but is not limited to, money, services, loans, travel, lodging, meals, refreshments, entertainment, forbearance (agreeing to change the terms for repayment of a debt), or a promise having a monetary value. Something with a fair market value of less than $15 would generally not be considered an item of value.
3. What can registered organizations tell prospective patients who ask about finding a certifying health care provider?
Registered organizations may not recommend, refer or suggest individual health care providers, group practices or websites offering to certify patients.
Registered organizations may direct patients to the New York State Office of Cannabis Management website, where a list of health care providers who have agreed to be listed publicly, is available. That list can be found here: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/practitioner/public_list.htm.
4. Can a registered organization work with certifying health care providers or third-party websites to direct patients to their registered organization dispensing facilities?
No. Registered organizations and persons associated with registered organizations are prohibited from entering into any agreement with a certifying health care provider that would adversely affect any person's freedom to choose which registered organization to purchase product from. Furthermore, a website may not direct patients to a particular registered organization after a health care provider associated with that website certifies a patient. This does not apply to health care providers and registered organizations who are conducting research pursuant to an IRB approved study where the patient has consented to participating in the study.
5. What information can a registered organization disseminate to the public regarding its products?
General information regarding the registered organization's products can be given, including, but not limited to: dosage forms, brand names, THC and CBD concentrations, ingredient lists, safety precautions, contraindications, warnings, and instructions for proper use. New York State regulations require that any advertisements making claims or statements regarding the efficacy of medical cannabis products be submitted to the OCM at least 10 business days prior to being disseminated to the public.
6. Can registered organizations assist certified patients in registering with the New York State Office of Cannabis Management’s Medical Cannabis Program?
Yes. Registered organizations may assist patients who have already been certified by a health care provider, with the registration process. However, registered organizations may not directly or indirectly steer or influence a patient's choice with regard to the selection of a health care provider.
7. Are product reviews by patients allowed on registered organization websites?
No. Allowing patients to post product reviews on the registered organization's website is akin to advertising, and statements regarding efficacy of a product must be supported by substantial evidence or substantial clinical data. If patients want to find or post reviews about registered organization products, they must do so using a third-party website, not a registered organization's website.
8. Are instructional videos and directions for use of products allowed to be posted on a third-party website?
Informational and/or instructional materials concerning the use of registered organizations' products are permitted, so long as no claims of efficacy are made without written prior approval of the OCM pursuant to 10 NYCRR § 1004.16(i).
9. Can registered organizations compare products with competitors' products, to better inform patients?
Comparing approved medical cannabis products is allowed. However, registered organizations are prohibited from making any statement that falsely disparages a competitor's products.
10. Are registered organizations permitted to provide free items to the public at outreach and educational events?
Yes, so long as it does not have the purpose or effect of steering or influencing patient or caregiver choice with regard to the selection of a health care provider.