do you need a prescription for cbd oil in ny

Is CBD Legal in NY? Ask an Expert

In New York, just about anything goes. When New York City draws a line in the sand, it gets attention. And that’s what happened a few years ago with the New York CBD market. When hemp-derived cannabidiol CBD was made legal under the Farm Bills of 2014 and 2018, there were a lot of cafes in New York offering CBD infused lattes and other CBD treats.

  • 1) New York and Cannabis Laws
  • 2) New York CBD Laws
  • 3) CBD Mailed to Me in New York?
  • 4) Conclusions

And then the New York Department of Health came through and shut that down, which drew some serious media attention. That has led many people to ask, “Is CBD legal in New York?”

The U.S. Farm Bill of 2018 redefined cannabis plants into hemp and marijuana, and declared that CBD products make from hemp plants were legal, as long as the products contained less than 0.3% THC. But the governments of New York City and New York State are notoriously unwieldy. They demanded their say before CBD products and edibles were allowed in their jurisdictions.

If you’re a New Yorker, or plan on traveling to New York with your CBD oil, here are some of the legal regulations to keep in mind about CBD oil in New York.

New York and Cannabis Laws

Anyone who has been to the Big Apple knows that there have been always illegal, but barely hidden, ways procure marijuana. In my day, it was a pizza delivery joint that delivered more than just pizza if you knew the secret code. That code was often disseminated on the walls of bathroom stalls or passed by word of mouth around campus.

One such weed delivery service was famously broken up by the NYPD in 2005 — famous because the name of the delivery service was the “Cartoon Network.” That particular service received 600 calls per day from 50,000 phone numbers, according to the feds. 1

There are still plenty of under-the-radar or conveniently ignored, ways to acquire weed. Some still involve pizza places, but maybe not cartoon networks. In the meantime, marijuana has become less taboo and more legally accessible.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of New York since 2014. Only individuals who hold a valid New York State Medical Marijuana card can legally access medical marijuana or CBD derived from marijuana, as opposed to high CBD cannabis hemp oil. 2

Recreational marijuana with more than 0.3 percent THC remains illegal in the state, although marijuana possession was decriminalized to a degree in August 2019. Penalties for possession of small amounts have been reduced, and those with existing possession convictions may have their convictions expunged. 3

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a reluctant advocate of legalizing the marijuana cannabis plant for recreational use, and has ensured constituents that he will try to get that passed in the 2021-2022 state budget. 4 In November 2020, neighboring New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana by ballot referendum. 5 That should compel the lawmakers in Albany to get to work, with all that tax revenue disappearing to Hoboken on the PATH train.

New York CBD Laws

While New York managed to legalize medical marijuana in 2014, it took until 2019 to do the same for CBD. This left the sales of hemp CBD products in a gray area for five years. Technically, it was still illegal, and some providers and consumers did get busted. But during the final day of the 2019 New York legislation session, lawmakers passed two bills that defined and regulated hemp-derived CBD products. 6 This is part of the reason why some people are still confused as to whether CBD is legal in New York.

In June 2019, the New York State Senate passed legislation that provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for hemp and CBD. According to the bill: retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers of CBD products must be permitted. 7 But while this was working its way through the legislature, the state still enforced its old laws, which caused confusion.

In 2019, a dispute arose between Beak & Skiff Orchard and state lawmakers. The orchard, located just outside of Syracuse, was producing CBD-infused cold brew coffee. However, New York state lawmakers forced them to stop production and remove their products from retail shelves. Essentially, the 107-year-old, family owned business was shut down by aggressive enforcement of outdated laws. 8

This dispute forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to assure New Yorkers that food and beverage CBD regulations would be examined in early 2020. At the direction of Gov. Cuomo, the Department of Health launched a new Cannabinoid Hemp Program to regulate hemp products in the state. The Program requires anyone involved with the hemp industry to obtain a license from the state Department of Health. 9

But then COVID-19 hit and those plans were pushed back. Finally in October 2020, the New York state department made it legal to use CBD as a beverage and food additive.

“You can eat it or drink it, just not in a product that also contains alcohol or tobacco. You can vape it, but you can’t smoke the ‘flower’ in a cigarette. You can use it in a dietary supplement or salve, but you can’t inject it, inhale it or use it in a skin patch,” according to Dan Cazentre of NY Up, a publication of Advance Media. 10

But here’s the catch: to be legal in New York, in order to keep selling CBD-infused food and drink it must be produced at the manufacturing level. That means if you go to a bakery, and they offer you CBD muffins, they’re breaking the law if they made those muffins in-house. Or if coffee shops add CBD oil to their beverages at the counter, it is illegal.

The sale of out-of-state hemp extract must meet New York standards and regulations. 11 Most quality CBD oils, like Cornbread Hemp from Kentucky, easily meet most of these standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

The are a few steps in the process which you will need to complete, but don’t worry, we will guide you every step of the way! The first step is to request a consultation. We ask for your basic contact information, as well as what condition(s) qualify you in accordance with the Compassionate Care Act. Once you fill out the consultation form you can move on to uploading your supporting documents.

What do I need to book an appointment?

Before you book an appointment, you will need to send a copy of your medical documents or a medical note from your physician stating your diagnoses (one of the 13 qualifying conditions) and one proof of New York State residency.

If you suffer from chronic pain you will need additional information. Your medical diagnosis or medical letter from your physician must state that you have had pain or anticipate that you will have pain longer than 3 months. It must state that you have tried other treatment options that have failed (i.e. tried pain medication, surgery or other treatments).

You only need ONE of the following:

A New York State Driver’s License or New York State Identification Card. *(Please note: NYCID is not an acceptable form of identification.)

A copy of a utility bill (i.e: Electricity Bill, Cable Bill, Internet Bill) indicating an applicant’s current residency (MUST contain applicants name and address listed. The bills should back track two months.)

A copy of current lease indicating an applicant’s residency within New York State.

Is it safe to upload my documents online?

Absolutely! We use a HIPPA compliant and encrypted upload method that is verified safe and secure. Your privacy and protection is always our number one priority . Alternatively, you may fax the required documents to us at 212-784-6896.

I clicked the “Schedule” button, but it’s asking for a password, what do I do?

You need to complete steps 1 & 2 before you can unlock the schedule feature. First, complete the consultation form. Next, when you have gathered the required documents, upload the documents to our staff for us to review. An associate will reach out to you with a password for you to schedule your visit. Alternatively, you can call us to schedule your visit (you will be asked to provide documentation before you are seen.)

What conditions can marijuana be used to treat?

There are 13 qualifying conditions in the state New York. CDONY can certify you for the following 12 conditions.

ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Chronic Pain/Acute Pain

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Intractable spasticity due to spinal cord damage

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Where is my certification valid?

Certifications are valid at all dispensaries in New York State. We also provide guidance for reciprocity laws if you plan to travel and use your medication. Not all states allow for reciprocity and it is important that you take the time to research and plan accordingly before using your medication outside of NYS.

Can I get a renewal?

Yes. If you have been seen by one of our physicians we can schedule an appointment for a renewal.

Can I get a renewal if I’ve been certified by a doctor not in your practice?

Yes. If you have been certified by a doctor who is not in our practice, you will have to have that certificate cancelled and then we can begin the process for a new certificate.

What marijuana products are available in New York State?

NYS dispensaries offer oral sprays, tinctures, gummies, lozenges, tablets, isolate powder, topical ointments, vapor cartridges, and ground flower pods that can be used in specialized vaporizing devices. Currently, NYS does not allow smoking medical marijuana flowers – also known as buds – as well as some products you may find in other states. We offer a comprehensive dispensary & product guide to all of our current patients.

Is it safe to use Marijuana Vape Products?

The NYS Department of Health urges all New Yorkers to stop using vape products until the definitive cause of reported vaping-associated serious pulmonary (lung) illnesses nationwide can be better determined. Since the investigation into the illnesses began, there have been no reports of adverse events associated with approved products in the NYS Medical Marijuana Program related to the outbreak. Medical marijuana products are approved by the Department and rigorously tested for contaminants, pesticides and concentration of cannabinoids, including, but not limited to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). However, out of an abundance of caution, we are also urging patients in the medical marijuana program to consult with their health care providers on potential alternatives to vaping products while the investigation continues.