Medical cannabis continues to grow in popularity as more people understand the potential benefits of the substance, and due to its status as a safe medicinal alternative to many traditional over-the-counter pharmaceuticals that often come with harsh side effects.
New York residents interested in cannabis and who would like to get a medical marijuana card online can do so by carefully following laws and regulations stipulated by state health authorities.
Fortunately, those in New York often have a much easier process in working with relevant authorities than residents in other states.
A Brief Overview Of The New York Medical Cannabis Program
Medical cannabis in New York was officially codified into law back in 2014 when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act.
Legislation laid out a variety of legal protections for cannabis patients and their caregivers. It gave the state permission to license and register cannabis dispensaries, which could then sell different products to those with a valid identification card.
Governor Cuomo extended the scope of the Compassionate Care Act in 2015 by signing an amendment that ensured medical cannabis could be expedited to patients who were deemed critically ill.
According to New York law, dispensaries are required to pay a 7% tax on the gross receipts from medical cannabis sales, and 22.5% of all tax revenue is required to stay in the dispensaries’ local county.
Dispensaries are also subject to inspections by the New York Department of Health but maintain the ability to either function as a non-profit entity or a full-profit business.
The Process Of Obtaining An Online Medical Cannabis Card
Those who want to get a marijuana card should understand the specific restrictions and limitations state authorities place on the types of qualifying medical conditions.
New York’s Department of Health outlines a specific list of conditions that open up the possibility of obtaining a medical cannabis card. This list includes various medical conditions and diseases such as HIV, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, etc. that negatively impact a patient’s functional capability and health in general.
Aside from the above list of medical conditions, state authorities require all prospective cardholders also to have cachexia/wasting syndrome, pain that’s severe or chronic, severe nausea, seizures, or muscle spasms, PTSD, or regularly use opioids.
The New York Department of Health is strict on the types of potentially qualifying medical conditions and the associated conditions. However, authorities do look over other potential medical conditions and make decisions about if they should be added to the medical cannabis program.
The First Step: Speaking With A Legitimate Medical Provider In New York
People who are interested in obtaining a medical cannabis card should first make sure they have a qualifying medical condition.
Next, they need to speak with a licensed physician or healthcare practitioner in the state who has the proper credentials to make evaluations.
During a discussion with a healthcare professional, patients should be able to state why medical cannabis would be beneficial for their situation and clearly explain all elements of their health history to the doctor. Honesty and transparency go a long way towards helping the practitioner decide on medical cannabis.
The New York Department of Health offers an online portal to help prospective patients find different healthcare professionals who are appropriately registered with the state.
However, this repository lists doctors and other practitioners who have consented to have their information made public. Additionally, doctors and nurses who are interested in becoming properly registered with the state are invited to work with authorities to get on the list.
Aside from speaking with a healthcare professional and receiving a patient certification, those looking for an online medical cannabis card should prove they are a New York resident.
According to the New York Department of Health, acceptable proof of current residence includes an ID card, a driver’s license, or a copy of a bill issued in New York.
Many online medical cannabis card companies make it extremely easy to speak with a qualified healthcare professional since they permit the opportunity to directly talk with a healthcare professional right through the website’s portal – or a telemedicine option.
This can be advantageous for those with busy schedules, especially since virtual consultations can be scheduled in a more flexible manner than trying to block out time for an in-person visit.
Second Step: Filling Out Online Paperwork And Waiting For Your Card
An online medical marijuana card service allows patients to immediately receive access to a temporary card after receiving approval from a medical professional. A hard copy of the official certification is then sent by mail a few days later.
Those with a card are required by the State of New York to make sure they are registered in the medical cannabis program via New York’s patient registration system.
Once you have your card, you can now purchase high-quality cannabis inside of legitimate medical dispensaries. The benefits of buying from a dispensary are robust. The products sold are high-quality and are often cheaper than other options.
Additionally, many staffers in New York dispensaries are friendly and very willing to give advice and tips about what type of cannabis products would work best for your situation.
Those enrolled in New York’s medical cannabis program maintain the ability to appoint up to two caregivers. A caregiver is permitted, once approved, to make purchases at a dispensary on your behalf if you are not able to do so.
Additional Considerations About New York’s Medical Cannabis Program
Obtaining a cannabis card has many benefits. Websites are able to carry out 24/7 online verification of information, compared to brick-and-mortar methods that can only operate during business hours.
Additionally, many websites are willing to refund application fees if a cannabis card application does not receive approval.
Cardholders should note their cards are valid for one year after issuance. The process of receiving a new map is the same step as the initial application. New York residents are also not allowed, even with a medical cannabis card, to grow or cultivate their cannabis. Punishments for cultivation could result in a year’s jail time and a fine of up to $1,000.
Possession of cannabis charges is sometimes slapped on people who were caught cultivating multiple cannabis plants or have a large amount of cannabis in their possession. These charges open up the possibility of a felony and the potential of a multi-year jail sentence.
Options To Receive A Medical Cannabis Card Online in New York
Several websites cater to New York residents interested in receiving a medical cannabis card online.
Many different legitimate practices are willing to price match their competition and offer a variety of options for telecommunication with medical professionals while adhering to strict HIPPA and ASA stipulations.
New York’s medical cannabis application and approval process are relatively streamlined, and the state has shown willingness to adapt and modify the program to match current needs and demands.
This gives New Yorkers relatively open access to medical cannabis, provided they have a qualifying medical condition.
MDBerry is an online 24-hour medical marijuana clinic that allows people to receive a medical marijuana card in just three steps after consulting with adequately licensed medical professionals.