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What’s Changing with New York’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

New York State has passed bill S. 854-A/A. 1248-A legalizing adult-use cannabis & expanding the state’s medical marijuana program. *UPDATED 01/15/2022

| The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) passed on On March 31, 2021. establishing the “Office of Cannabis Management” to implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that covers medical, adult-use and cannabinoid hemp. The bill also expands New York State's existing medical marijuana and cannabinoid hemp programs. The legislation provides licensing for marijuana producers, distributors, retailers, and other actors in the cannabis market. It also creates a social and economic equity program to assist individuals disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement. Tax Collection Projected to Reach $350 Million Annually and Potentially Create 30,000 to 60,000 Jobs.

1. Will New York continue it’s medical marijuana program now that Adult Use is Legal?

Yes, New York will continue to promote the Medical Marijuana program and it is recommended that you continue seeking guidance from a licensed physician to manage your treatment. The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA) was passed on March 31, 2021 legalizing adult-use cannabis (also known as marijuana, or recreational marijuana) in New York State. The new bill expands New York State’s existing medical cannabis in ways that improve patient access and affordability. The MRTA includes provisions to expand the Medical Marijuana Program. The Office of Cannabis Management & the NYS Department of Health have been making updates within the state-wide system that will allow practioners to certify conditions previously not listed. *We are currently booking appointments for expanded conditions. If your condition may benefit from Cannabis, please contact us for an appointment. To receive a Medical Marijuana Card you must have one of the qualifying conditions (now expanded) and provide proof of NYS residency to obtain a medical marijuana certificate with an NYS registered Cannabis Doctor. The bill creates a legal pathway for medical marijuana practioners to certify patients with any conditions they feel could be helped with marijuana use. The expanded qualifying conditions list is now updated here to include “any other condition certified by the practioners.” For current information on medical marijuana, please visit the New York State Department of Health website. Please feel free to contact us by phone, or email with any questions you may have. We are available to answer questions and discuss your options.

The new legislation will allow people with a larger list of medical conditions to access medical marijuana, increase the number of caregivers allowed per patient, and permit home cultivation of medical cannabis for patients.”

2. Do I Need a Doctor to Purchase or Cultivate Medical Marijuana?

Yes, you will need to be certified by a registered cannabis doctor to purchase, cultivate, or consume medical marijuana products. The products available for Adult Use are not the same as the medically approve products. Adult Use (Recreational) Marijuana products will become available to people over 21, these products will not require an MMJ card. We strongly recommend that you gain and maintain a Medical Marijuana Certification if you have any medical diagnoses and follow the advice and guidance of your physician. Cannabis Doctors of New York is the first medical cannabis only practice that started since the Compassionate Care Act was passed in 2014. Since then, we have treated thousands of patients and have closely monitored and managed their symptoms successfully. We have experience with the medical marijuana products available at New York dispensaries and use specific products and ratios for each condition.

Without a doctor's guidance, many New Yorkers are left to navigate the system alone, which can be confusing and intimidating to a new cannabis user.

Cannabis Doctors of New York provides a unique concierge service beyond the certification process and can coordinate care with your primary care physicians or care facility. We arrange for a smooth transition for our patients to receive their Medical Marijuana Card by providing individualized guidance in products, dosing, follow-ups, and complex medicine management. We also offer public educational services such as lectures, webinars, and have organized several events to raise awareness about the efficacy and to reduce the stigma often associated with medical marijuana.

3. What are some of the changes we can expect to see with Cannabis in New York State?

  • Allowing whole flower and the “smoking” of cannabis.

  • Expanding limits to a 60-day supply (previously 30 days) effective immediately.

  • Allowing medical practitioners to certify patients who have been diagnosed with any conditions outside of the legislatively predetermined list effective immediately.

  • Allowing up to five designated caregivers to store and administer medical cannabis (previously two) effective immediately.

  • Removing State fees paid by patients effective immediately.

  • Authorizing the opening of up to four additional medical dispensaries per Registered Organization will take effect in late 2022.

  • Allowing Personal possession outside of the home up to 3 ounces cannabis (24 grams of concentrates) effective immediately.

  • Home Grow (Cultivation) permitted under the bill subject to possession limits in 18 months after first adult-use sales begin for adult recreational use and subject to regulations of the Medical Program. 3 mature plants and 3 immature plants for adults over 21. 6 mature plants and 6 immature plants maximum per household.

  • Criminal Justice and Record Expungement provisions.

  • Under the law, the smell of marijuana alone is no longer probable cause for a search by law enforcement.

  • Protections for the Use of Cannabis and Workplace Safety: Unlawful discrimination will be prohibited and workplace safety protections will be implemented.

  • Separate provisions in the law permit for the licensing of delivery services and social consumption facilities. Localities that do not wish to regulate marijuana establishments can choose not to permit them.

Please visit NYC.GOV , HEALTH.NY.GOV and CANNABIS.NY.GOV for a comprehensive explanation of the effects of the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA). Additionally, NORML has a comprehensive list of NYS laws & penalties up to date as of 06/16/2022.

Here at Cannabis Doctors of New York, we dedicate ourselves to our unique approach of providing you with extended support. You can speak in-depth with our physician, who will guide you through every step of the way, taking the anxiety out of the process. At the time of your doctor's appointment, you will receive personalized product recommendations, dosing guidance, and assistance with navigating New York State dispensaries.

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