Medical Marijuana Certification

The term medical marijuana refers to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions.

The state of New York legalized marijuana for medical purposes in July 2014. The first dispensaries opened on Jan. 7, 2016, and Community Care Family Medicine began certifying patients in 2017.

Certain patients can benefit from the use of medical marijuana. You should make an appointment with one of our certified practitioners to see if medical marijuana may help you.

You are potentially eligible for medical marijuana if you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions:

  • Cancer
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Opiate Use
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep Impairment

The condition must also be accompanied by one or more of the following associated or complicating conditions: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms.


Certified Practitioners at Community Care Family Medicine

New York State’s medical marijuana Program allows patients to be certified by a practitioner to receive medical marijuana products for medical use. Practitioners must complete a four-hour New York State Department of Health (Department)-approved course and register with the Department to certify patients. Community Care Family Medicine has the following certified practitioners:

The Medical Marijuana Process

Medical marijuana is received through pharmacists at dispensing facilities, and you need to be certified to receive it.

Community Care Family Medicine is here to help you through this relatively simple process. These are the steps to take with our office:

Make an appointment for a consultation with our certified practitioner, Dr. Eric Schnakenberg. You can make an appointment by calling our office at (518) 371-9355 or by emailing us.

During your consultation:

  • Our practitioners will determine if you have a condition that qualifies you for medical marijuana.
  • If you are eligible for medical marijuana, Community Care Family Medicine will qualify you and register you with the New York State medical marijuana program during your consultation.
  • You will also receive a copy of the medical marijuana certificate at the time of your visit. We are providing with the maximum one-year certificate.
  • You’ll need to obtain a NYS registry ID card by entering your certificate number online. There is no charge for the ID. Typically within 7 days, you’ll receive the ID in the mail.
  • Next, you’ll need to take that ID card and the certificate you receive from our office to the pharmacist at the dispensary. The pharmacist is authorized to counsel you on the various forms of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is only available in smoke-free form. Edible Marijuana is not available. You’ll be able to receive your medical marijuana for one month at a time. Again, the pharmacist at the dispensary ultimately makes the determination of dose and quantity.


Medical marijuana is currently a non-covered benefit. The one-time consultation fee is $250. Community Care Family Medicine provides you with the maximum one year certificate for one visit. There is an additional charge for medical marijuana once you get to the dispensary.

Patients can follow up at our office throughout the year if needed for no charge.

New York State Registered Dispensing Facilities

  • Dispensing facilities are found across New York State. All are registered and regulated by the Department of Health, and all products are tested for quality assurance.
  • Medical marijuana is only available in smoke-free forms, including capsules, liquids, oils, and vaporization. This ensures the safest delivery methods for patients.
  • Contact Community Care Family Medicine for more information at (518) 371-9355.
  • You can also visit the New York State Department of Health for more information.