New York Gun Rights Guide for Medical Cannabis Patients
On March 31, 2021, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. With Cuomo’s signature, the state Department of Health (DOH) had 18 months to implement a medical marijuana program to give patients access to non-smokable medical cannabis consumption.
The bill also led to the expungement of prior marijuana-related criminal records in New York. As of October 2021, it is illegal for employers in the State to test potential hires for cannabis use or to discriminate against current employees who use cannabis outside work hours.
Patients may be certified by any medical professional who has successfully completed a two- to four-hour training in medical cannabis and who is licensed to prescribe prohibited medications in NY State. Patients may enroll in the Medical Cannabis Program after receiving a certificate from their doctor. They can also choose their own caregivers, and there is no registration charge. The patient will be given a registry ID card that entitles them to medical marijuana purchases from NY State dispensaries.
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Does Having a Medical Cannabis Card Mean Not Being Eligible for a Gun License in New York?
You cannot use marijuana when purchasing or owning a firearm in New York under the Gun Control Act of 1968. Even though medical marijuana is legal in New York and you can have a medical cannabis card, the Gun Control Act classifies medical cannabis patients as having the same forbidden status as violent criminals and mentally ill people. As a result, you cannot apply for a gun if you have a medical marijuana card and vice versa.
Despite the Gun Control Act of 1968’s federal penalties for marijuana usage, marijuana retailers are prohibited from sharing their customer base with the government, according to the office of NY state senator Liz Krueger. This ban on sharing information has probably led to some cannabis users deciding to possess both, trusting their luck not to get caught.
Can You Take Your Gun to a Dispensary in New York?
To acquire a firearm from a private individual in NY, you need a permit to purchase, a background check, and a firearms registration. A licensed firearms dealer must handle all private sales. The possession of an unregistered firearm is prohibited.
NY state law does not address open carry. The two most common licenses for a pistol or revolver are a license to “have and possess”, which authorizes the license holder to possess a firearm at a specific location such as their home or place of business, and a license to “have and carry concealed which authorizes the license holder to carry a pistol or revolver on their person.
Leaving your gun in a vehicle must be unloaded and locked in hidden, fire-resistant, and impact-resistant storage. Not unless there is an adult that remains in the vehicle.
To obtain a concealed carry license, applicants are required to submit the following to the Pistol License Section of the county you are applying to:
- A notarized statement detailing whether or not you have ever been admitted to a hospital in any jurisdiction for assessment, observation, care, and/or treatment of a mental illness;
- A notarized statement detailing whether or not you have ever been admitted to a school in any jurisdiction for care, and/or treatment of a developmental disability
- A notarized statement detailing whether or not you have been convicted within the last five years of assault in third degree
- A notarized statement detailing whether or not any minors are residing full-time or part-time with you
- Proof of completion of a firearms safety training course
- Four character references
- Urine drug testing results from a 12-panel test conducted by a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certified laboratory
- A list of former and current social media accounts for the last three years
- Disclosure of the applicant’s spouse or domestic partner, any other adults residing in the applicant’s home, including any adult children of the applicant
- An in-person interview of the applicant with the licensing officer/designee
Effective September 1, 2022, possessing a firearm, rifle, or shotgun is prohibited in sensitive locations. Under the law, the following are considered sensitive locations:
- Any location owned or under control of federal, state, or local government for the purpose of government administration, including courts
- Any location providing health, behavioral health, or chemical dependence care or services
- Places of worship or religious observation
- Libraries, public playgrounds, public parks, and zoos
- NYS Office of Children and Family Service licensed or funded facilities (childcare facilities)
- Nursery schools, preschools, summer camps
- NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities licensed or funded facilities
- NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports licensed or funded facilities
- NYS Office of Mental Health licensed or funded facilities
- NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance licensed or funded facilities
- Homeless shelters, family shelters, domestic violence shelters
- NYS Department of Health licensed or funded residential facilities
- Colleges, universities, private schools, public schools, and other educational institutions
- Public transportation and transit facilities
- Bars and restaurants serving alcohol, and on-premises cannabis consumption locations
- Theaters, stadiums, racetracks, museums, amusement parks, performance venues, concert halls, exhibit halls, conference centers, banquet halls, gaming facilities, video lottery terminal facilities as licensed by the gaming commission
- Polling places
- Public sidewalks and other public areas that are restricted from general public access for a limited time or special event
- Gatherings of people to collectively express their constitutional rights to assemble or protest
- Times Square (with boundaries determined by New York City).
So you can conceal carry your gun to a dispensary as long as you have a valid handgun license, own a registered handgun, and are doing so in accordance with the license’s restrictions and other relevant state and federal laws.
Can You Consume CBD and Own a Gun in NY?
CBD oil derived from marijuana with high levels of THC is only permitted for individuals in New York who have received recommendations for medical marijuana. However, hemp-derived CBD oil containing only 0.3% THC can be freely owned and used by anyone.
With that said CBD consumers in New York can get a gun license to purchase and own a gun as long as they follow the allowed THC level.