Medical (2014)

Current Status

On July 5, 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a limited medical marijuana bill into law, which included several revisions he insisted upon. After 18 years of work, led by tireless Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, New York is now the 23rd state with an effective medical marijuana law.

The bill gives the state and Department of Health 18 months to enact regulations and install a patient and business infrastructure to allow for the cultivation and sale of medical marijuana to qualifying patients.

So in order to do anything within the state, you’ll have to first be licensed to Grow/Cultivate Medical Marijuana Legally in New York in order for you to be able to Open A Medical Marijuana Dispensary in New York.

Medical Marijuana


  • Must be certified by a health care practitioner
  • Must have a severe debilitating or life-threatening illness for which cannabis is likely to have a therapeutic benefit

Health Care Practitioners

  • Must report all patient certification information to the Department of Health
  • Cannot certify themselves as patients

Designated Caregivers

  • Must be registered by the Department of Health
  • Must be at least 21 years old, unless special permission is obtained from the Department of Health
  • Must possess a registry ID card for each patient in their care
  • Cannot serve more than five certified patients

Patient Registry or ID Cards Program?
Yes, for medical patients. the New York Department of Health began issuing patient ID cards in December 2015.

Cannabis Grow Limit:
Home cultivation is not permitted.

Cannabis Possession Limit:
The marijuana that may be possessed by a certified patient shall not exceed a thirty-day supply of the dosage as determined by the practitioner, provided that during the last seven (7) days of any thirty-day period, the certified patient may also possess up to such an amount for the next thirty-day period.


You must first have a cultivation license to get a dispensary license.

New York State Medical Marijuana Program



Nothing at the moment


In January 2016, dispensaries began serving medical cannabis patients.

Registered organizations or “RO’s” are companies, either for or not-for-profit organizations that the state will license to produce and dispense medical marijuana. The state will not license more than 5 RO’s, which can each operate 4 dispensaries (for a total of 20 dispensaries). The state can add more RO’s if they determine a need for more.

There are only two New York State-mandated products for Medical Marijuana (one with an equal ratio of THC to CBD, and one with a low-THC-high-CBD ratio) that must be offered by each Registered Organization. Each Registered Organization will also offer other products that have varying ratios of THC to CBD

Dispensary Requirements:

  • Must be licensed by the Department of Health to legally dispense medication to patients or caregivers with a valid registry ID card
  • Must meet standards assessed by the Department of Health, including safety and security requirements, adequate location, and character and competency evaluations
  • Can operate as non-profit organizations or for-profit businesses
  • Initial registration is valid for two years, at which time renewal is required
  • Must report all sales, deliveries and distribution of medical cannabis
  • Must pay a tax of 7% on the gross receipts from the sale of medical marijuana; 22.5% of all tax revenue must stay in the local county where the registered organization manufactures or dispenses medical marijuana
  • Must include a safety insert developed by the Department of Health with each purchase
New York Quarter
New York was the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana on July 5, 2014.

Important Cannabis Laws

AB 6357 (2014) : Relates to the medical use of cannabis; legalizes the possession, manufacture, use, delivery, transport or administration of medical cannabis by a designated caregiver for a certified medical use; prescribes procedures for such possession, acquisition, etc. including certification of patients by their practitioner, and that, in the practitioner’s professional judgment, the patient would receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from use of medical cannabis.

S7923 (2014) : created legal protections for patients and caregivers and authorized the Department of Health (DOH) to license and regulate “registered organizations” to cultivate and sell medical cannabis to patients. Patients must obtain a registration identification card after getting written certification from their physician. The law requires physicians to take education, and state the “dosage” patients should use, which determines the 30-day supply of medicine that the patient may possess. The law forbids the smoking of cannabis by patients but does not explicitly ban patients from accessing cannabis in its dried flower form.

AB 7060 (2015) : expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients

AB 7060 (2015) : an amendment to the Compassionate Care Act which expedited access to medical cannabis to critically ill patients ahead of the full opening of registered organizations in 2016.

Final regulations (2015)