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New York Gun Rights Guide for Medical Cannabis Patients

New York Gun Rights Guide for Medical Cannabis Patients

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted a law on March 31, 2021, that permitted the use of cannabis for medicinal intentions. By endorsing this law, the State Department of Health (DOH) was given a timeframe of 18 months. This time frame was given to establish a program enabling patients to get non-smokable medical cannabis.


The legislation resulted in the erasure of previous criminal records associated with marijuana offenses in New York. As of October 2021, it is against the law for employers in the state to conduct drug tests on prospective employees for cannabis consumption. The law also includes the employer not to show bias against current employees who engage in cannabis use during their personal time.


Any medical practitioner who has finished a 2 to 4-hour medical cannabis training and holds a license to prescribe restricted medications in NY State can provide certification for patients. Once patients receive a certificate from their doctor, they can join the Medical Cannabis Program. They have the option to select their own caregivers, and there is no fee for registration. The patient will receive a registry ID card. The ID card grants them the ability to buy medical marijuana from NY State dispensaries.

Does Having a Medical Cannabis Card Mean Not Being Eligible for a Gun License in New York?


The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the use of marijuana in conjunction with the purchase or possession of a firearm in New York. Despite the legality of medical marijuana and the availability of medical cannabis cards in the state, the Gun Control Act treats individuals with medical cannabis cards in the same manner as violent criminals. Individuals with a medical marijuana card are ineligible to apply for a firearm, and vice versa.


The Gun Control Act of 1968 imposes federal penalties for marijuana use. Marijuana retailers are not allowed to disclose their customer information to the government. This restriction on sharing data has likely caused some cannabis users to trouble for possessing both firearms and marijuana.

Can You Take Your Gun to a Dispensary in New York?


To get a firearm from a non-commercial person in New York, you are required to have a purchase permit. Private sales must be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer. It is illegal to own an unregistered firearm.


Open carry is not regulated by the law in New York state. There are two most issued licenses for a pistol or revolver. One is a license that permits the holder to own the firearm in a designated location such as their home or workplace, and the other is a license that allows the holder to carry the weapon hidden on their body.


If you leave your gun in a vehicle, it needs to be stored in a concealed, and impact-resistant container. The container should be both unloaded and locked unless there is a responsible adult present in the vehicle.


To get a concealed carry permit, individuals must provide the following documentation to the Pistol License Section of the specific county where they are submitting their application:


  • A statement that has been indicating whether you have ever been hospitalized in any location for evaluation, monitoring, care, or treatment of a mental health condition.
  • A notarized statement that provides information about your history of attending a school in any location to care for or treat a developmental disability.
  • A statement that has been certified, stating whether you have been found guilty of third-degree assault in the past five years or not.
  • A statement that has been certified, providing information about the presence or absence of minors living with you either full-time or part-time.
  • Evidence of successful completion of a course focused on firearms safety.
  • Four character references.
  • The outcome of a urine drug test performed by a laboratory certified by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) consisting of 12 panels.
  • A compilation of social media accounts from the past three years, including both past and present ones.
  • The applicant is required to provide information about their spouse, as well as any other adults living in the same household.
  • The licensing officer/designee conducts a face-to-face interview with the applicant.


As of September 1, 2022, it is not allowed to have a firearm, rifle, or shotgun in designated sensitive areas. The law identifies the following as sensitive locations:


  • All government-owned or government-controlled places, including courts, that serve the purpose of government administration.
  • Any place that offers healthcare, mental health, or substance abuse treatment or help.
  • Places of worship or religious observation.
  • Public libraries, playgrounds, parks, and zoological gardens.
  • Childcare facilities that are either licensed or funded by the NYS Office of Children and Family Service.
  • Nursery schools, preschools, summer camps.
  • Facilities that are either licensed or funded by the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.
  • Facilities that are either licensed or funded by the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports.
  • Facilities that are licensed or funded by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. This includes homeless shelters, family shelters, and domestic violence shelters.
  • Residential facilities that are licensed or funded by the NYS Department of Health include colleges, universities, private schools, and other educational institutions.
  • Public transportation and transit facilities are also included.
  • Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, as well as locations where cannabis can be consumed on the premises, are part of this category.
  • The list also includes theaters, stadiums, racetracks, museums, amusement parks, and video lottery terminal facilities as licensed by the gaming commission.
  • Polling places are part of the list as well.
  • Public sidewalks and other public areas are restricted from general public access for a limited time.
  • Gatherings of people who come together to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble or protest are also covered.
  • The specified boundaries of Times Square are determined by New York City.



It is permissible to carry your concealed firearm when visiting a dispensary, as long as you have a valid license for handguns.

Can You Consume CBD and Own a Gun in NY?


In New York, only individuals who have obtained medical marijuana recommendations are allowed to use CBD oil extracted that has a high THC content. CBD oil derived from hemp with a THC concentration of only 0.3% is legally accessible and usable by anyone.


As long as CBD consumers in New York adhere to the permitted THC level, they have the option to get a gun license and legally acquire and possess a firearm.