Qualifications and Limitations in Obtaining Medical Marijuana Card in New York

Qualifications and Limitations in Obtaining Medical Marijuana Card in New York

New York is one of the most liberal cities in the United States. Around 20 million people are living in this highly industrialized location. Aside from its thriving economy, New York is known to provide adequate healthcare and quality of life for its constituents. Among the options available for its ailing people is the usage of marijuana for medical purposes.

Since 2014, the usage of medical marijuana has been made legal by the New York State Legislature. This legalization is made possible through the Compassionate Care Act, which enables people with a medical marijuana card in New York to have access to this drug.

At present, there are reportedly 98,000 New York residents that legally use medical marijuana. 40% of them are aged 50-70 years old who are suffering from chronic pain. Others are experiencing neuropathies or are undergoing cancer treatments. There are also 1,700 physicians, nurse practitioners, and caregivers who are registered to administer it to qualified cardholders.

These booming statistics are due to the expanded inventory of people who can avail of this kind of treatment. Such a move has been made in recognition of the fact that many people are really in need of this wonder drug and regulating it is better than having sick patients illegally obtaining it.

New York politics has also played a role in loosening its rules since most of those who are in authority are supportive of marijuana for medical gain. Nonetheless, despite its expanded eligibility clause, a growing number of providers and practitioners, and supportive lawmakers, how easy is it to obtain a medical marijuana card in New York?

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Qualifications for medical marijuana

Only a practitioner who is under the Medical Marijuana Program of New York State’s Department of Health (DOH) is allowed to advise patients to consider the usage of this drug. They are only allowed to prescribe this controlled substance if the patient has a life-threatening or debilitating condition solvable through the use of medical marijuana. Eligible conditions include cancer, Parkinson’s diseases, sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, Huntington’s disease, and other chronic conditions.


For its monitoring, New York’s DOH only restricts the validity of medical marijuana care for a year, though it can be renewable as long as it is needed. Patients who are legally permitted to have access can only buy a 30-day supply of its allowable dosage. They are also forbidden to smoke cannabis for recreational purposes to avoid the onset of addiction. The only allowed forms that they can take are oil preparation, topical ointments, and semi-solid tablets or capsules. They can also only buy this regulated drug from certified dispensing facilities.


The price of medical marijuana has a significant impact on its accessibility. New York’s Medical Marijuana Program does set the costs of this drug, registered manufacturers do. Hence, prices vary across different providers. Those who are using this for the first time may pay around $100-350. Discounts may be given for bulk orders as well as for those who are experiencing financial hardships.

Physical pain is a real and severe problem for ailing individuals. With the implementation of the Compassionate Care Act, New Yorkers can have the option of addressing this concern through the usage of medical marijuana. It is about time that the stigma on this regulated substance is lessened for the benefit of those who medically need it.

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