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Talking To Your Doctor About New York Medical Marijuana

What you need to know before talking to your practitioner.

When talking to your practitioner, consider the following points:

  • Bring any available medical records you may have.
  • Explain what you hope to gain from the use of medical cannabis.
    • For example, do you want to restore appetite?
    • Are you seeking to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting or other symptoms caused by your medical condition or the medications used to treat your medical condition?
  • Let your practitioner know that you are aware of some of the side effects that may occur, such as: dry mouth, dry or red eyes, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, or anxiety.
  • Be prepared to discuss with your practitioner the benefits of medical cannabis versus the risks.
  • Use professional language, such as “medical cannabis.” Refrain from using slang terms such as “pot” or “weed.”
  • Remind your practitioner that he/she is not writing a prescription, but instead giving a written certification.

What conditions qualify for medical marijuana?

Qualifying conditions vary state by state. See what qualifies in New York.


Ask your doctor if your use of the following medications should be adjusted with the use of medical marijuana:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Antiplatelets
  • Aspirin
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Dronabinol
  • Narcotics
  • Phenobarbital
  • Sedating anticholinergics
  • Sedative-hypnotics
  • SSRI
  • TCA
  • Theophylline

The Practitioner-Patient Relationship

Practitioners are not “prescribing” medical marijuana. Instead, a practitioner, who's patient is under continued care, will review past treatments and determine if a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from medical marijuana.

This information is not a referral by a practitioner to a specific dispensary. This information is being provided by the dispensary for the education and support of the qualifying patient or designated caregiver. The choice of a dispensary is the patient's alone. A dispensary may not accept the referral of patients from a practitioner. Neither may a practitioner refer a qualifying patient to a dispensary.

Practitioners should have a "bona fide" practitioner-patient relationship with the qualifying patient.
A physician, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant should be able to comfortably certify that the qualifying patient is under their care for his or her debilitating medical condition. 

Practitioners may accept payment from a qualifying patient for the fee associated with the examination required before recommending medical marijuana.
However, practitioners may not accept any remuneration for making a medical marijuana certification, nor can they accept any remuneration from any dispensary for such a recommendation.

Unlike other pharmaceuticals, providers cannot “overprescribe” medical marijuana.
The practitioner provides the authorized brand and form of the approved medical marijuana, the administration method, and any limitations on the use of approved medical marijuana product. If a practitioner has a recommendation regarding dosage, it will be included on the certification, although a recommendation on dosage is not required. Under the law, New York State allows a 30-day supply based on dose.


This website contains cannabis information and is restricted to individuals 21 years of age or older. Please confirm your age:

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