Medical Marijuana Program enters next phase, patient registration now open



NEW YORK -- New York state officials have outlined the requirements for residents looking to participate in the state's medical marijuana program.

New Yorkers can now register and learn about each step of the process online, according to the Department of Health.

While medical marijuana will not be available at licensed dispensing facilities until 2016, residents can begin the process now.

Here's the process:

  • Contact your physician to see if medical marijuana may help. Your physician must register with the Department of Health in order to issue a certification to you.
  • A registered physician will provide your certification (if appropriate for your condition).
  • Apply for registration online. A registry ID card will be mailed after the application is approved.
  • Purchase product from a registered organization's dispensing facility.

The state explains only patients with severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions may qualify for the medical marijuana program.

The following conditions are listed by the state:cancer, positive status for HIV or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, or Huntington's disease. Patients must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

Here's the fine print:

  • Patients must first have a certification from their physician, who must be registered with the Department.
  • Certified patients will submit their application for registration using the Department's online system that is accessed through Patients who do not have a account will need to visit and click the "Don't have an Account?" button to create a personal ID first. Patients with a account will login to, click the "Health Applications" icon, and then click the "Medical Marijuana Data Management System" link to register.
  • There is a $50 application fee pursuant to Public Health Law 3363(2)(f). This fee will be billed to you at a later date, unless you obtain a waiver for financial hardship.
  • Patients will be required to provide proof of their identity and residency during the application process. Click here for additional information regarding required documentation.
  • Patients may designate up to two caregivers during the registration process. After the patient's application is approved, the designated caregiver(s) must then register with the Department.
  • Patient registration expires when the certification that was issued by the practitioner expires.
  • The registry ID card will be mailed to the certified patient after the application is approved.
  • Patients must have the registry ID card and their certification in order to purchase approved medical marijuana products, as recommended by their certifying physician, from a registered organization's dispensing facility.
  • Patients must always carry their registry ID card whenever they possess approved medical marijuana products.
  • No one may transport medical marijuana products outside of New York State.
  • New York State does not accept certifications or registry ID cards from other states.
  • A certified patient or designated caregiver who has been issued a registry ID card shall notify the Medical Marijuana Program of any change in his or her name, address, or if he or she no longer has the serious condition noted on the card within ten (10) business days of such change.

The five organizations include Bloomfield Industries Inc., Columbia Care NY LLC, Empire State Health Solutions, Etain LLC, and PharmaCann LLC.

Three of the five companies will be operating in Central New York.

Bloomfield Industries, Inc., Etain LLC and PharmaCann LLC will be licensed to dispense medical marijuana in Onondaga County.

Hillary Peckham, a co-owner of Etain says she plans to open a marijuana dispensary at 2140 Erie Boulevard East. She says they hope to open by the end of January.

Each of the companies is licensed to manufacture medical marijuana. The five manufacture sites will be in Queens, Monroe, Fulton, Warren and Orange Counties.

Each organization can produce up to five different types of approved medical marijuana products. Approved products include liquids and oils for vaporization, oromucosal or sublingual administration or administration per tube, as well as, capsules to take orally. All products must be independently tests in a lab for contaminants and consistency.

All product pricing and advertising must be approved by the Department of Health.

All of the organizations must maintain separate facilities for manufacturing and dispensing.

The licenses are good for two years. Each organization must renew their registration at the end of that time.

For more information about New York Stateâ??s Medical Marijuana Program, visit: .