Becoming a Patient in New York

To obtain a medical cannabis card in New York, you will need to complete the four steps outlined below.


Step 1


The first step is to find a state-registered practitioner who can legally provide you with a recommendation letter.  

If your existing doctor is registered with the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program, you can obtain a recommendation letter from them. If not, they can refer you to a registered doctor who can determine if you are eligible for the state program. There are over 800 doctors currently registered in New York state who can conduct an in-person visit.

Alternatively, you can use a telemedicine portal to consult with a certified healthcare practitioner online. The Botanist has partnered with Veriheal, offering prospective patients a quick and efficient option for sign-up. After submitting a documented history of a qualifying medical condition, the practitioner can provide you with a written recommendation for cannabis use. Qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Cancer

  • Positive status for HIV or AIDS

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Huntington's disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Epilepsy

  • Neuropathy

  • Chronic pain, as defined here

  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with an objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity

  • Any condition for which an opioid could be prescribed

Patients with qualifying conditions must also be diagnosed by one or more of the following symptoms to be eligible:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome

  • Severe or chronic pain

  • Severe nausea

  • Seizures

  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

  • PTSD

  • Opioid use disorder

As a medicinal cannabis patient, you are required to follow up every 90 days with the physician that initially provided your recommendation letter for cannabis use. Per New York law, patients are also required to renew their recommendation letters every year.


Step 2


Once you have a recommendation letter, you must register online with the New York State Department of Health. Under the ‘Health Applications’ section, you can register for the Medical Marijuana Data Management System. Find step-by-step instructions here.

You will need to provide proof of residency with a state-issued ID or a passport with a New York address. A current lease, bank statement or utility bill will also suffice. Once you are approved, the Department of Health will mail a registry identification card directly to the patient or designated caregiver.


Step 3


After you obtain your registry ID card, you’ll be able to purchase medicinal cannabis from licensed New York dispensaries.

Prior to your first visit, please fill out our patient intake form and print it out. This information helps us understand your condition and ensure we provide you with treatment options best suited for your needs.

You can also browse our products online prior to coming in. Our highly trained staff will be ready to answer your questions and help you place your first order. 

Find our patient intake form here.

Patient Intake Form

Step 4


When purchasing medicinal cannabis at a dispensary, you’ll be required to present your valid registry ID card, your written recommendation letter, and a state-issued photo identification, like a New York driver’s license. 

For more information about this process, visit the New York State Medical Marijuana Program website.

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