Medical Marijuana Program

Lisa Volk and Nancy Leveille in Clinical & Quality

In January 2016, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) announced the initiation of the State's Medical Marijuana Program. This program made approved forms of medical marijuana, which has been shown to help alleviate pain and enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from certain diseases, available with a physician's certification at designated dispensaries across New York State. See useful links below for what is required for prescriber and residents: 

  • Prescribers licensed under Title Eight of the Education Law in New York to treat humans and who have a DEA registration number to prescribe controlled substances, as well as medical residents who prescribe controlled substances under a facility DEA registration number, must complete at least three (3) hours of course work or training in pain management, palliative care, and addiction. The course work or training must be completed by July 1, 2017, and once every three years thereafter, pursuant to Public Health Law (PHL) §3309-a(3). The course work or training may be live or online. The course work or training must include the following eight (8) topics:  New York State and federal requirements for prescribing controlled substances; pain management; appropriate prescribing; managing acute pain; palliative medicine; prevention, screening and signs of addiction; responses to abuse and addiction; and  end of life care.
  • Prescribers licensed on or after July 1, 2017, who have a DEA registration, as well as medical residents prescribing controlled substances under a facility DEA registration, shall complete the course work or training within one year of registration, and once within each three-year period thereafter.
  • In order to obtain medical marijuana, a patient must be clinically appropriate for their qualifying condition consistent with the DOH's guidance and regulations and receive a DOH Medical Marijuana Program certification from a registered physician. The patient must then access DOH's online Patient Registration System to apply for a registry identification card. Additional information regarding registration can be found at:
  • To apply for a registry card, certified patients will need:  a valid DOH Medical Marijuana Program certification form issued and signed by a registered practitioner, photographic identification, documentation of his or her temporary or permanent New York State residency, and designated caregiver information, if applicable. A patient who is under the age of eighteen or who is otherwise incapable of consenting must apply through a proxy.
  • Patients with valid registry identification cards are then eligible to purchase medical marijuana from one of the dispensing locations across the State. DOH selected five Registered Organizations to grow marijuana and manufacture it into approved forms. Each Registered Organization operates a manufacturing facility and four dispensing facilities. Information on the Registered Organizations can be found here:


Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Nancy Leveille, RN, MS
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x20