New York City is one of the most recognizable cities in the world, visited by thousands of travelers as one of the top travel destinations on the planet. One of its boroughs, Manhattan, has a dense population that houses the world’s major financial, commercial, and cultural hub. The city’s healthcare industry has also been steadily expanding, which includes medical marijuana.

New York laws on medical marijuana permit patients with certain conditions to use the medicinal plant for treatment purposes as long as they qualify and obtain a medical marijuana card in New York. Due to the regulatory change brought upon by the California companies in 2017, residents in New York can quickly get a medical marijuana card. Here are five easy steps to get a medical marijuana card in New York.

1. Provide proof of New York residency

A medical marijuana card in New York can only be obtained if the patient is a resident of the city. The patients need to provide proof of their current residency by showing any one of the following:

  • A copy of government ID that has the patient’s name and New York address
  • The ID number of the patient’s New York’s driver’s license or non-driver card.
  • A copy of a recent utility bill or any other documents that can demonstrate the patient’s residency. The document should be issued within two months and has the patient’s name and address
  • A copy of a current lease or similar documentation that proves the patient’s New York residency
  • Any other documents containing enough details for proof of residency, which are approved by the Department of Health

2. Diagnosed with at least one of the qualifying medical conditions

Similar to most states in the country, patients who want to apply for a medical marijuana card in New York need to be diagnosed with any of the qualifying medical conditions by the physician.

Some of these conditions include cancer, AIDS or HIV, chronic pain, neuropathy, PTSD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The complete list of the qualifying conditions, as well as their associated or complicating conditions, can be found in the patient information of the New York State Medical Marijuana Program.

3. Get a patient certification from qualified medical practitioners

Patients who have at least one of the medical conditions can then get patient certification from qualified medical practitioners who are licensed in New York and have registered with the program.

When meeting with the medical practitioner, patients need to be honest about their health conditions and give an explanation of why they believe that medical marijuana is a beneficial treatment for them. If the medical practitioner approved the patients to join the program, they would submit a patient certification to the relevant authority on behalf of the patients.

4. Complete an online application

Once the patients received their patient certification, they need to complete an online patient application for the program. The application form will require some necessary information about the patients and their proof of residency. If the patients’ application got approved, they would receive their card via mail.

5. Purchase at a dispensary

After receiving the medical marijuana card, patients can download it and start making purchases at any registered dispensary. During purchase, the patients need to bring their registry ID card and the corresponding certification from the physician.

Successfully obtaining a medical marijuana card in New York does not mean that the patients can indiscriminately consume any forms of medicine at any place. The law does not allow smoking medical marijuana in any situation and forbids the patients from consuming the medicinal plant in public places.