NY Medical Marijuana Law and Designated Caregivers

There are now 33 states that allow the use of medical marijuana. Some don’t do a particularly good job of addressing how medical marijuana laws apply to designated caregivers. New York is not one of them. Visit the state Department of Health website and you will find plenty of detailed information about designated caregivers.

To put it as plainly as possible, New York law affords designated caregivers the legal right to assist patients already approved to use medical marijuana in obtaining the drug. Caregivers may also assist in the possession, delivery, transfer, and transportation of approved medical marijuana products.

If you would like to know more about obtaining medical marijuana cards in New York, check with an organization known as Veriheal. They can help you get what you need.


Caregivers Must Register

Registration and certification are necessary before anyone in New York State can use medical marijuana. For individual patients, that means submitting to a physical examination and evaluation conducted by a registered doctor. With certificate in hand, a patient can then register with the state. Completing these two steps gives patients immediate access to medical marijuana. Automatic access is not granted to designated caregivers.

Caregivers must also register with the state. Note that each approved patient can designate up to two caregivers. Each of those individuals must then register with the state as well. Upon approval, caregivers are issued ID cards they must take with them when attempting to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary.

Designated caregivers are also required to present the patient’s ID card and doctor’s certificate at the time of purchase. Failure to present any of the three required documents will prohibit the purchase of medical marijuana products.


Documents Do Expire

Both patients and their doctors should be aware that medical marijuana documents expire. Registration and certification are not a one-and-done deal. Oddly enough, validation periods may differ. The period for any particular patient is determined by the date printed on the doctor’s certificate. Note that both patient ID cards and caregiver cards expire on the same date as the certificate they pertain to.


Carrying Documents with You

Assuming you are designated caregiver, understand the New York medical marijuana laws require you to carry your ID along with your patient’s documents whenever you are in possession of medical marijuana. Be aware that certification and registration does not allow you to carry medical marijuana outside of New York State.

This last point is one that should not be taken lightly. Remember that the federal government still views marijuana as a controlled substance. Furthermore, the federal government does not recognize the legality of medical marijuana. As such, transporting medical marijuana products across state lines is a federal crime.

Being approved as a designated caregiver in New York only allows you to possess, transport, etc. medical marijuana products within New York State borders. Do not take a risk by taking those products to other states.


No Reciprocity

One last thing you should know as a designated caregiver is that New York does not practice reciprocity with any other state. What does that mean? First, it means that your medical marijuana ID cannot be used to purchase marijuana products in other states. It is good only in New York.

A lack of reciprocity also means that state-issued IDs and doctor certificates from other states are not accepted in New York. If you have moved to New York from another state where you had the legal right to act as a designated caregiver, you are still required to apply for the same status in New York.