How To: Medical Marijuana

Journal Back to Archive05.20.20

We may seem to only be a CBD company, but we also really value THC. Our founder, Boronia, loves both CBD and THC. They both have a place in her life but they serve different roles; CBD is her everyday supplement for anxiety control and THC is her ‘wine’. 

Obviously, we only sell hemp-derived CBD because we are not legally able to sell THC. However, if you think THC is something that would benefit you, we want to make sure you know how you can obtain it. In New York, the Medical Marijuana Program allows people with certain conditions to purchase THC dominant products from a medical marijuana dispensary.

*Note, we would prefer to use the word Cannabis, however in this context we do need to use Medical Marijuana Program. Not Medical Cannabis Program. This is the government ordained terminology.

What conditions make you eligible to obtain medical marijuana?

You are eligible for medical marijuana if you have one of the following severe conditions: cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, Huntington’s disease, PTSD, or chronic pain (as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)). The condition must also be coupled with either cachexia, nausea, seizures, or muscle spasms.

How can you take it? 

Approved forms include liquids and oils for vaporization, administration via inhaler, and capsules to take orally. Smoking and edibles are both illegal; however, there are certain medical marijuana dispensaries in New York that sell ‘chewables,’ which is just semantics (but also Boronia’s favorite way to take them).

Note: Certification only lasts one calendar year, so you will need to get recertified every year. To our knowledge, there is currently no insurance company that covers medical marijuana.

STEP BY STEP:

Step 1: Make an appointment with a doctor. A quick Google search for ‘consultations to certify patients for a New York State medical marijuana card’ will show you all of your options. Boronia uses Hamptons Med Spa (https://hamptonsmedispa.com/Account/Register). Note: She always consults with the doctor over zoom, so quarantine should not be an obstacle here.

Step 2: Talk to your doctor about your chronic pain symptoms and how they are debilitating enough to degrade your health and ability to sleep at night and function during the day. Explain if it is making you sad and anxious and affecting your work, family, etc. It is important to make it clear if it is chronic + affecting your normal function.

Step 3: If the doctor determines that you are eligible for the Medical Marijuana Program, they will register you as a medical marijuana patient and send you a “Medical Marijuana Program Patient Certification” document. Think of this certification as your script; you cannot shop at a dispensary without it. 

Step 4: Once you have your certification, you have to log into the Department of Health portal (https://my.ny.gov/) and register, so they can send you your medical marijuana card in the mail. Note: Your practitioner will have already filled out the details for you, so simply verify the information and sign the consent at the bottom. You do not need to attach your certification— if you do, it could slow the process down. 

Step 5: Go to a dispensary and buy what you need. You will need both your medical marijuana card and the certification to be able to purchase. If you need to go before your medical marijuana card arrives in the mail, you can download a temporary medical marijuana card off the portal.

A few things Boronia has learned along the way:

  • They are always slow at medical marijuana dispensaries. Always. There is a lot of paperwork they have to do, so don’t think you can pop in and out quickly. 
  • If it is your first time, they will want to talk you through the products so you leave with the correct strengths. Expect to be there for a long time on your first visit.
  • Even if you are an experienced cannabis user, this is a new process for you and you have a lot to learn from them. Pay attention. Let them do their job and educate you. 
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries are only allowed to sell vapes, capsules, and oil; they are not allowed to sell herb. Dispensaries, for Boronia, are all about the capsules and chewables. They give her the perfect dosage.
  • They use ratios, so start thinking about how much THC to CBD you prefer. Boronia favours 1:1 for an afternoon-wine-in-the-sun feeling, and a 20:1 to cure an anxious night’s sleep. 
  • They also use mg, so get used to understanding how many mg you prefer. 
  • Generally they have a very large variety of ratios and mg so it can get confusing your first time, but don’t be overwhelmed. Try a THC-dominant, a 1:1, and CBD-dominant. This way, you are able to test across the spectrum and determine what you prefer. 
  • The language will be confusing at first, but it will become second nature after you have been going for a while.
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries are normally cash only. Though some will accept debit cards, it is best to take cash so you are prepared (otherwise you may have to go use a janky ATM).
  • It will be more expensive than you are used to, but it is 100% worth it. The effect is very clean and exactly the same every single time. Think pharma: you know what will happen every single time you take a certain drug. It is the same here. Peace of mind is everything. 

Here is a list of medical marijuana dispensaries Boronia has used and likes:

SunnySide: Just off of Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. (They have really good chewables and capsules.)

Columbia Care: Right off of the 1st Ave L stop in Manhattan.

MedMen: Just south of Grand Central on Fifth Ave.

If you have any questions. Please get in touch. 🙂