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New York Medical Marijuana Program

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature in 2014 passed and signed into law the Compassionate Care Act. The objective was to provide a comprehensive plan for administering the New York medical marijuana program in a safe and effective manner with a focus on responsible medical marijuana production to meet the needs of residents across New York State. The program officially went into effect in 2015, with five registered organizations allowed to operate 20 dispensaries across the state.

In August 2016, New York State Department of Health made a number of recommendations to enhance the program, which included, among others, plans to expand the number of registered organizations to 10 companies. Additionally, the Department of Health has expanded eligible providers to include nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants. It also added chronic pain to the list of qualifying conditions.

Looking ahead, New York State appears poised to continue on in its position as the most reliable medical marijuana program in the U.S.

The current qualifying conditions of the NYS medical marijuana program are:

HIV infection or AIDS
Huntington’s Disease
Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Parkinson’s Disease
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Spinal Cord Injury with spasticity
Chronic Pain

Associated or Complicating Diseases

Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
Severe or Chronic Pain
Severe Nausea
Severe or Persistent Muscle Spasms

How do I become a registered patient?

To become a registered medical marijuana user in NYS, you must be diagnosed with a specific debilitating disease or life threatening condition that is accompanied by an associated or complicated condition.

Your first step should be talking with your current physician about whether or not the use of cannabinoids is appropriate for your condition. If your physician is registered with the NYSDOH’s Medical Marijuana Program, you can receive your certification directly from them.

The qualifying conditions for the New York Medical Marijuana Program are shown in the above section.

Where can I find a dispensary?

For a complete list of authorized NYS dispensaries, you can visit the NYSDOH registered organizations list.