Learn about Medical Marijuana with Dr. Lewis Jassey of Leafwell

New York has had a medical marijuana program since 2014. Marijuana, or cannabis, is considered a medicine because the chemical compounds in the plant have been proven to help reduce symptoms and side-effects for a range of medical conditions. Medical marijuana works alongside the natural rhythms of our bodies to alleviate pain, help us sleep, reduce nausea and much more. Leafwell is a telemedicine platform where prospective patients in New York state can log on and speak to a qualified state physician, like Dr Lewis Jassey.

Dr Jassey is the Medical Director for Pediatric Medicine at Leafwell, with 26 years medical experience. He has also been on staff at 5 major hospitals and lectures nationally. 

Who qualifies for a medical marijuana card?

Dr Jassey: The New York Medical Marijuana Program has a list of eligible medical marijuana conditions: chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, or Huntington’s disease. To qualify for a medical marijuana card, you’ll need to see a physician like me who can certify that you suffer from at least one of these conditions.

If you’re older than 18, you can apply for a medical marijuana card without parental consent. Anyone under 18 will need their parent or guardian to register as their caregiver. I’ve been a pediatrician for over 26 years and I’ve certified minors in New York for epilepsy, for example, which marijuana and CBD can be incredibly effective in treating.

I see lots of patients for chronic pain, caused by a range of conditions from arthritis to sporting injuries to traffic collision injuries. Cannabis treats inflammation very well, and inflammation is a common cause of chronic pain. Pain can be debilitating, and quite commonly causes insomnia, which is why it’s one of the most common qualifying conditions for which we certify in New York. 

How does a patient get certified in New York?

Dr Jassey: The first step is registering on Leafwell’s website. Go to getcarded.leafwell.co. Once you’ve registered, you’ll enter a virtual waiting room and be seen by a New York licensed physician in minutes, maybe even me! If you qualify, I or one of my colleagues will approve you and you’ll receive your doctor’s certificate within a few minutes. The last step is to register with the Department of Health and receive your temporary ID card. You will then be able to legally purchase cannabis at any licensed New York dispensary. Your physical medical card will arrive in the mail after 7-10 days. 

What type of medical marijuana products are available in New York?

Dr Jassey: In New York, medical marijuana patients can purchase and carry up to a 30 day supply. Medical marijuana comes in many different forms including vaping, oils, tinctures, creams and edibles are all popular with medical marijuana patients, and can all be bought in New York state.

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