Tag Archive: new york

  1. Politics, Pot and Perk with Dr. Craig Leivent

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    Nugg talks politics, pot and perk with Flower Power Coffee Company’s Dr. Craig Leivent. He whips up a pretty mean cup o’ CBD coffee, and some food for thought too.


    It’s a rare treat to talk to someone who’s as passionate about cannabis as we are. Botanist and pharmacist Dr. Craig Leivent believes that everyone should be able to benefit from the perks this plant has to offer and does everything he can to share them. So if you’re in love with coffee and cannabis, you’ll find you have a lot in common with the doctor.


    Find out how Flower Power Coffee Company hopes to make the world a better place with the potent power of CBDs.



    Dr. Leivent’s Background and How Cannabis Became a Part of His Life


    Nugg: “When did you first start learning about the potential health benefits of cannabis?”


    Dr. Leivent: “So I grew up around cannabis. I lost my dad when I was eight, and my mom worked three jobs. She needed the right path. So, she took cannabis and that helped her. I grew up seeing this. I also grew up being ridiculed and criticized by my friends and by their parents who were mostly heavily medicated and/or alcoholics. And meanwhile she came home from work after a long day, or maybe she was on her way to her next job, she was medicating herself in a way that she was able to go about her daily life. That’s what I saw.”


    “It was hard sometimes. It was something we had to deal with because, a lot of my friends, their parents wouldn’t let them come over. But then I began to realize, even when I was in high school, that this was her way of coping instead of being on Xanax and Zoloft or Prozac or multiple other things, she was utilizing cannabis. And this got me to thinking of cannabis as more of an exit drug, and not an entrance drug, and as a tool that can be used for health.”


    Nugg: “So how did cannabis become a part of your adult life too?”


    Dr. Leivent: “I’ve always loved plants, so I went into botany thinking I was also going to be a doctor. But then the accident happened and I broke my jaw and my orbital, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do that. I was doing therapy over the next 6 to 8 months, after my accident, and the doctors wanted to put me on barbiturates, benzos and anti-depression meds. I was almost like a guinea pig at one point. I was almost comatose. I was like a zombie and I couldn’t even live my life.”


    “So, I tried some cannabis too, and I realized, wow! I didn’t need the benzos or the barbiturates or the anti-depressants that they had me on – the pills that made me a zombie. I was able to consume a little cannabis and get on with my daily living. My reading and writing came back. I wasn’t as proficient as I was before the accident, but I noticed that the cannabis had a healing property on me. I mean, I had 186 stitches on my face. My lips were ripped off. My jaw was broken. My orbital was crushed in. My eyelash was ripped off over my right eye. It wasn’t pretty.”


    But Dr. Leivent didn’t let the accident stop him. He finished college and applied to pharmacy school. Dr. Leivent wanted to make cannabis available to help others the way it helped him. He then opened a medical dispensary in Oregon, Lincoln City Collective. Now he’s also on the East Coast, trying to get cannabis into people’s lives through his CBD-infused yummies.


    The Story Behind Flower Power Coffee


    Dr. Leivent: “I needed a way to get cannabinoids into everyday life. I was thinking and thinking, ‘could we put CBD into something that more than 80% of the population uses?’ And I looked in my hand and saw my coffee and thought, there it is!


    “That’s when I reached out to Chef Leighton Knowles who was doing some amazing things in the cannabis sector on the East Coast. We went over some products that were available and were not happy with what we found at the time. So we started going over different formulations, a scientist and a chef another perfect match, but the one thing we knew is we didn’t want an oily brew.”


    “I’m not poo-pooing other companies who make CBD coffee. I just don’t see how you can put CBD oil, on a bean, and then grind that bean, and then percolate that bean, and have a consistent measurement of CBD. Because each bean is not getting the same amount of CBD if it’s not being ground right away to get your measurements. So if they’re just leaving it as a whole bean and saying that its 350 mg per bag, that’s great, but how much is it per a serving? Because, if its an oil based thing, is that oil going to come through my water? Am I actually going to be able to get that in my coffee cup? Water and oil don’t like each other. They’d separate.”


    “So we searched out a custom-formulated CBD isolate, which is pure CBD – completely THC free. Then we went a little further and we thought, let’s get the best possible coffee that we can get and let’s put it with the best possible isolate that we can get. So we have this amazing CBD isolate with this fantastic coffee that’s been roasting in Brooklyn for the last 70 years. It’s been on Oprah and Seinfeld.”


    “We have the best coffee, with the best CBD, and the slight bitterness that the CBD might have is completely masked by the coffee. It’s like a match made in heaven. And it has its own entourage effect, because you’re going to get your energy through your coffee – you’re going to get your focus – but you’re not going to get those jitters and you’re not going to get the anxiety that caffeine usually brings. At least not in moderation.”


    “There were studies recently with CBD and coffee that didn’t show that, but these people were drinking eight to 10 cups of the stuff. You’re going to be jittery and have anxiety if you consume that much coffee. So moderation is important. But when people take our coffee and drink it, and they come back and tell us how they feel, it’s undeniable. That’s how the coffee came around. A lot of people describe drinking the coffee as being similar to the sensation they get when they put their hand on an air hockey table. They feel that light buzz going through their body and on their skin. That’s a great feeling.”


    “A lot of people don’t realize that their everyday life is stressful. You wake up, and suddenly you’re bombarded with stuff. Our brain doesn’t even let us realize all the stuff that’s going on around us all day or we’d go crazy. I serve this coffee at large events, and I tell people, ‘you’re going to drink this coffee and you’re going to feel great and be able to walk around all day.’ And they come back later and say ‘yeah! I feel great! I walked around all day. I usually can’t do that.’ Or they might have some anxiety with crowds, but they’ll come back to me three hours later and say, ‘you know, the crowds didn’t bother me.'”


    Feelings About Cannabinoids and Terpenes


    Nugg: “What are your feelings about high THC products with no CBD?


    Dr. Leivant: “Well now THC is amazing by itself. I also think it depends on the time of day for particular products. I think a balanced product – especially because of the synergistic effects between THC and CBD – is usually the best option. But the cannabis patients in New York don’t have access to the specific strains and varieties that you do in California.”


    Nugg: “It’s so strange to see a state that doesn’t allow flower.”


    Dr. Leivant: (laughs) “Yeah, it’s because New York is a smoke-free state, so vaping is considered non-smoking. You can consume your capsules or have a vape pen, but no smoking of flower.”


    Nugg: “Do you feel like they are missing out on the other benefits that you would find in natural flower like the CBNs and the terpenes?”


    Dr. Leivant: “Oh yes! They definitely might be missing out. CBN, CBG, you know, the other tiny cannabinoids that get pushed out with high THC breeding too. I mean, a plant can only contain so much THC before it can’t grow anymore. So it happens to the flower too. A lot of those natural cannabinoids that cause the entourage effect are being bred out. It’s extreme. I’ve seen 31% THC, so, when you think about it, 30% of that plant is just THC (the buds). So you’re losing a lot of those other finite cannabinoids that have those other wonderful synergistic effects that might give you a better effect from that THC. So, I don’t like THC with no CBD in it. But I also do like higher THC strains too. I’m a hyperactive guy and I have a lot of energy, almost too much energy.”


    “This is something I feel very passionate about. I realized everyone needs to consume some type of cannabinoid in some type of way. Like THCA, it won’t get you high, it has more antioxidants and Omega 3,6 and 9, than almost any other plant and most fish. Cannabis is a superfood! If we were to consume cannabis itself as a food, I don’t know how many diseases or conditions we’d improve or even eliminate. You’re in California! You should be consuming raw cannabis every day. Juice it, any way you can get it in there. You can’t deny the benefits. But we’re giving out opium. We’re giving out synthetic fentanyl. I would take my patients down the herb aisles and I would have to say you have to be careful taking this because your kidneys might fail, if you take too much of this your liver will fail, if you take too much of this you’ll get an ulcer. But you can consume your body weight in cannabis and feel great. It’s crazy. The only way you can get hurt from cannabis is if you drop 2,000 pounds on your head.”


    Nugg: “It seems so backward.”


    Dr. Leivent: “Yeah. We’re not even being taught about the endocannabinoid system. My friends that went through medical school weren’t taught about it. My students in pharmacy school aren’t taught about it. They do have an elective course at LIU, but at St. John’s, a Catholic school, there’s no mention of it. Before, what was it, 1938? There were some 2,000 pharmaceutical products with medical cannabis in them. It was just a great medicine! Now we don’t even feed hemp to our livestock. We’ve taken so many of these cannabinoids out of our daily life. Who knows how many of our current diseases or mental health problems could be attributed to this? I personally believe that. When you see someone who is cannabinoid naive, and you give them CBDs or low dose THCs and you see the effects, it’s undeniable. The reports that we get from people saying they’ve stopped shaking from their Tourette syndrome or they slept all the way through the night for the first time in years – it’s just undeniable. It’s just great to hear these things. We should be utilizing it as much as possible, and instead, we are being handcuffed.”


    The Importance of Taking Legal Action to Help Enable Legalization in New York


    Of course, with the tenuous ground that CBDs stand upon, the conversation took a natural turn toward the politics of pot. Dr. Leivent isn’t just passionate about his coffee. He knows that his company’s and his customers’ futures depend on the direction of current legislation.


    Now that Epidiolex is America’s first FDA-approved CBD-based medication, it’s impossible for the DEA to continue to deny that cannabis has no medical benefit. The DEA must make a decision to reschedule Epidiolex, and it’s still being debated whether this rescheduling will include all CBDs. Some activists are very worried about this decision because if all CBDs are rescheduled to Schedule 2 or Schedule 3, production could become more complicated, not less.


    Dr. Leivent: “I don’t think enough people realize what the big issues are. They think any step toward legalization is great. They don’t realize the intricacies of the situation. If we deschedule, we’ll be able to utilize this as a superfood, and as the plant-based medicine it is. If we reschedule, we will be putting cannabis completely in the hands of the pharmaceutical industry. Call your congressman, call your representatives. Everyone, everyone should be calling. Every dispensary should display their congressperson’s phone number.”


    The nation got a glimpse of what such a Schedule 2 or 3 world would look like in mid-August when it was discovered that Epidiolex, which is being produced by GW Pharma, could cost as much as $32,000 per year.


    That pill may be a little hard to swallow since current compassionate care providers in legal states can make similar CBD tinctures and concoctions for just a couple hundred dollars a month. They often even provide these CBD tinctures for low or no-cost, utilizing the profits from legal cannabis sales to cover the relatively minimal production costs.


    Nugg: “Do you think there’s enough public interest now to stop this from happening?”


    Dr. Leivent: “Absolutely! Just look at the demographics that this crosses. You have every walk of life – every creed, every color, every age group. There are so many people who have seen benefits. Look at all the people who want to relax or treat pain, so they drink or pop a Xanax – but then they poo-poo cannabis. So they go home and they have a drink or get drunk and then they look terrible the next day. Or they take their Xanax and they’re totally out of it. Why would you want to do that when you can come home and smoke a joint or eat an edible and feel a lot better and be a better person to everyone else? There are no ill-effects…well, maybe a pizza or two.”


    Find Flower Power Coffee Company’s coffee at these locations, and learn more about coffee and cannabis from Nugg’s Cannabis Concierge team. We’re always here to help.


  2. How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in New York

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    When President Nixon began the Drug War in earnest, it was nearly inconceivable to most illicit cannabis users that the world would acknowledge the Devil’s lettuce as an actual medicine. Oh, the hippies knew what cannabis was capable of, but the rest of the world treated “marihuana” like a weapon of mass destruction.


    You can still see some of this leftover mentality in the intensely prohibitive regulations that surround the plant – even in legal states. Still, we’ve come a long way since the ’70s, as a recent poll shows an astonishing 94% of Americans approve of medical cannabis.


    New York is one of the 31 (and counting) states that now allow cannabis use for medical purposes. If you’re thinking about asking your doctor whether cannabis is a good choice for your particular condition, you’ve come to the right place.


    ­­­In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming a medical cannabis patient in New York. Whether you feel like a deer in headlights when it comes to cannabis options or you’re having trouble digesting the legal jargon – we’re here to ensure you have the best experience possible. As cannabis becomes more widely accepted, we want to make sure you have accurate, reliable information so that you can find the relief you need…and the happiness you deserve.



    Are You a Candidate for Medical Cannabis in New York?


    What to Know About Your Initial Cannabis Consultation

    There are four basic steps to becoming a registered cannabis patient in New York:

    1. See a doctor
    2. Obtain a patient certification
    3. Register online as a patient
    4. Purchase from one of New York’s authorized dispensaries


    While this is a very straightforward process, there are a few things you will need to consider before you begin the process.



    You’re required to prove New York state residency to become a cannabis patient here. This requirement is usually satisfied with a driver’s license or a state ID. If you don’t have a state ID, you can show proof of residency through a utility bill or a lease with your name on it. The department may also allow other proof of residency at their discretion.


    Those who temporarily reside in New York for serious medical treatment can also sign up for the program, so long as they provide documentation of temporary residency.


    Qualifying NY Medical Cannabis

    Not everyone qualifies for medical cannabis in New York. While the law is less restrictive than it was originally, you need to have one of the following “severe, debilitating or life-threatening conditions:”

    • Cancer
    • Positive status for HIV or AIDS
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
    • Epilepsy
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Neuropathy
    • *Chronic pain as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi)
    • Huntington’s disease
    • PTSD
    • Opiate replacement


    You must also have one of the following associated or complicating conditions:

    • Cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body due to severe chronic illness)
    • Severe or chronic pain
    • Severe nausea
    • Seizures
    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms


    Finding a Licensed Cannabis Doctor in New York


    Because the Empire State requires these serious conditions to access medical cannabis, your doctor won’t recommend it for a minor condition. Any doctor who promises to approve, no matter what, is likely not compliant. Some people simply won’t qualify for the program.


    Your doctor should ask to see the medical records connected to your condition. These records might include:

    • Hospital visits
    • Prescriptions
    • Physical therapy records
    • Detailed patient charts
    • Medical test results

    It’s a good idea to have all of those records ready before you talk to the doctor so you can provide any supplemental information he or she needs. Also, plan for the extra time it may take to track down certain records and other info. A legitimate doctor will take every step necessary to ensure you qualify under the law before certification.


    For New York residents who shudder at the thought of making a special trip or simply don’t have time in their hurried schedule, consultations can be done entirely online. Save the car fare and cook that homemade meal while talking to your cannabis doctor from the privacy and comfort of home.


    Cannabis or Medical Marijuana Vs Opiods


    How to Start the Conversation with Your Cannabis Doctor

    It’s important to know that not every doctor in New York can recommend cannabis as medicine. Doctors are first required to take a 4-hour certification course then register with the program as providers; so don’t be bewildered if your doctor won’t prescribe it. Instead, ask for a referral to a cannabis-friendly doctor who is qualified to help.


    During the registration process, your doctor will have the option to tell the state their recommended method of administration and THC:CBD ratio. He or she will also have the option to leave this decision up to your dispensary’s pharmacist. Just discuss these preferences with your doctor during the consultation to make sure you get the proper dosage and cannabis type that meet your needs.


    How to Get Your Medical Cannabis Registration in New York


    If your doctor determines you’ll benefit from cannabis, he or she will register you with the state as a medical cannabis patient. Here’s the NuggMD process:


    1) Create an account with NuggMD New York.


    2) Provide basic info like your name, address and proof of age.


    3) Provide your medical history with as much detail about your condition(s) as possible so the doctor will have a chance to evaluate your potential treatment options.


    4) Provide your payment information and enter the virtual waiting room. You shouldn’t wait too long since there are several fully-licensed, cannabis-friendly physicians currently working with NuggMD. While you do, chat with one of our knowledgeable cannabis concierges to learn more about medical cannabis in New York.


    5) When your new physician becomes available, he or she will finish your evaluation via our telemedicine platform. The video consultation can be as short or long as needed, with some consultations only requiring a few minutes to complete. And remember: don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is an important new step in your journey to wellness, and knowledge is power.


    Some questions you should consider:

    • What ratio of CBD to THC do I need?
    • What method of application should I try?
    • Should I combine methods?
    • How often should I take my medicine?
    • How will this affect other medicines I am taking?


    Be sure to tell your doctor about every medicine, vitamin and herb you’re currently or have recently taken so he or she can ascertain any possible interactions.


    6) As a NuggMD member, you only pay $149 for the evaluation.


    7) Once approved as a cannabis patient in New York, you’ll receive an email with specific instructions to complete your state registration process. If you have any trouble completing this process, just hop on over to our site and our concierge service will happily give you a hand.


    * On July 12, 2018, the Department of Health announced that they are enhancing the registration process to allow patients to print out 30-day temporary ID cards. This will allow patients to purchase medicine immediately upon completion of registration while they wait for the Department to process their application and mail out an ID card (ID cards must be renewed each year). 


    Buying Medical Marijuana in New York


    How to Buy Medical Cannabis in New York

    After you’ve obtained your certification and registered with the state, it’s finally time to purchase your herbal medicine.


    There are currently only 10 organizations in New York that are allowed to legally dispense medical marijuana:

    • Columbia Care
    • Etain, LLC
    • MedMen, Inc.
    • Vireo Health of New York LLC
    • Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc. *
    • Valley Agriceuticals, LLC *
    • Citiva Medical LLC *
    • PalliaTech NY, LLC DBA


    Facilities marked with an asterix (*) are in the process of licensing dispensaries and will open soon.


    What Cannabis Consumption Methods Can I Use in New York?


    There are three main consumption methods available for cannabis in NY:

    • Inhalation
    • Oral
    • Topical


    Let’s explore each of these methods in detail.



    This allows the active ingredients from your cannabis to directly enter the bloodstream through your lungs.



    It’s the slowest method of cannabis administration, but also the longest lasting. The effect of edibles tends to be much stronger than inhaled cannabis so proceed cautiously.


    This is because taking cannabis orally produces different compounds in our bloodstream that affect us differently than inhalation. Basically, our liver converts at least some of the delta-9 THC (the ingredient that makes us high when inhaled) to 11-hydroxy-THC, a much more potent psychedelic. When we inhale cannabis, it bypasses the liver so we don’t get all of that 11-hydroxy-THC.



    Some new patients prefer topical cannabis applications because they’re (mostly) non-psychoactive. Rather than ingesting cannabis and feeling the potent effects of THC, topicals deliver THC and CBD directly into the affected area.


    Topicals come in many forms, including lotions, balms, oils, lubricants and transdermal patches. They also come in many different THC:CBD ratios. But since THC isn’t easily absorbed into the skin, high THC topicals might be a little pricey when compared to their effects. Most are high in CBD and combined with other soothing ingredients like capsaicin, mint or other essential oils for added benefit.


    A more recent trend in topical application is the transdermal patch. It utilizes the same type of agents that help the nicotine patch deliver compounds through the skin. These transdermal patches can make you high if they contain enough THC, so be careful when choosing the right topical.

    Medical Marijuana Topical Treatment


    Picking the Right Ingestion Method

    All of these methods of delivering cannabis into the system provide a unique opportunity to help alleviate symptoms. Your physician might even recommend a combo of up to three different methods to get the maximum benefits.


    For instance, the doctor might recommend a vape pen for immediate pain, then an oral dose since the vape pen’s effects tend to wear off sooner. With careful timing and dosing, it’s possible to get relief without the associated peaks and lows that come with other medicines.


    Whichever methods your doctor recommends, be sure to follow dosing instructions to the letter. Taking your medicines in the wrong order or doubling up on doses could give you anxiety or couch-lock instead of relief.


    Types of Cannabis Product Available in New York


    Unlike many medical cannabis states, the range of legally available products in New York is very restricted. The state regulates the amount of THC in a product, the way it can be administered, and the amount that can be dispensed in a 30-day period.


    The products currently allowed are:

    • Metered liquid or oil preparations like vape pens and tinctures
    • Solid and semisolid preparations like capsules, tablets and lozenges
    • Ground, non-smokable plant preparations
    • Topical applications and patches


    The NY Compassionate Care Act forbids smokable cannabis and edibles. So the only fast-acting inhaled form of cannabis allowed is vaporization. Gummy bears or brownies are definitely out.


    Each registered cannabis organization is also required to have at least one brand of cannabis with low THC/high CBD and one with equal THC/CBD. Aside from that, they’re allowed to produce their own brands with their own proprietary ratios of THC and CBD, so long as they get department approval first. We’ll go over a comprehensive list of the products available so far, a little later in this guide. For now, let’s go over the basics.


    Each of these formulations and administration types are designed to target certain symptoms and conditions. Your doctor or pharmacist may have an in-depth discussion with you about these. In the meantime, here’s a basic breakdown of each product type, what conditions they’re most commonly used for, and how they’re used. 


    Vape Pen

    Relatively new compared to the old joint, vaporizer pens are metered oil preparations heated into vapor then inhaled. They first started popping up in the early 2000s and have caught on quickly due to their convenience and discretion.


    Vape pens are usually heated with a small cylindrical battery the size of a cigarette, although there are other battery types on the market. You can purchase vapor oil in bulk to fill cartridges, or in disposable cartridges.


    When the cartridge is attached to the battery and activated, the solution heats up to about 390°F. This is actually below the combustion level so the active ingredients are inhaled without the smoke and tar you’d get with a joint or a bong.


    Vaporizing Medical Marijuana is the best method



    A cannabis tincture is a liquid solution held under the tongue for fast absorption through the network of blood vessels there and in your gums. They might also be called cannabis oral solutions, but the action is basically the same.


    Sometimes patients assume a tincture doesn’t work because they don’t take enough with the first dose and don’t feel the effects fast enough. This leads to discomfort once they get a surprise dose of highly psychoactive 11-hydroxy-THC, which grows more uncomfortable if they took another sublingual dose. Use extreme caution with this potent method and don’t take another dose ’till it’s time.


    Like vaping, tinctures come in low to high CBD to THC ratios designed to treat different conditions.


    Oral Sprays

    Cannabis oral sprays work like tinctures, though make microdosing much easier. You’ll know exactly how much cannabis you absorb per spray, controlling your dose. This factor makes oral sprays ideal for first-time users who need THC, but want to start light.


    Ads for oral sprays often refer to the fact that they mimic smoking. This doesn’t mean you should inhale like you do joints or vaporizers. You’re supposed to spray it on the mucous membranes inside your mouth and hold it for 30 seconds to a minute without swallowing. While you’ll feel the effects faster if administered properly, swallowing immediately still produces the same effects as other oral doses. Ask your pharmacist exactly how much THC is delivered with each spray.



    This is a more comfortable way to take cannabis for those who have never taken anything other than pills. Cannabis capsules come in a very wide variety of dosing options and a wide range of THC:CBD ratios.  


    If you have any allergies such as gluten or wheat, let your pharmacist know as inactive ingredients may contain something that will irritate your allergies. Capsules come in very precise doses so you’ll have little risk of accidentally taking too much as long as you follow the doctor’s instructions.


    Hard-Pressed Tablets

    Tablets affect you in roughly the same way as capsules, but unlike capsules, you can break them down into smaller doses. This is a new product that recently became available and comes recommended for those who lack the motor control necessary for more intricate dosing methods.


    What Does Cannabis Feel Like?


    Surely you’ve heard stories about uncontrollable giggles, paranoia, and the unrelenting craving for a hot fudge sundae. But what does being on cannabis really feel like?


    When you feel cannabis’ psychoactive effects you might mildly hallucinate, although strong hallucinations aren’t common. Colors might seem brighter or faces might appear weird, yet a more noticeable change is your state of mind. People tend to experience their surrounding environment in a more enhanced way. It’s also common to become very introspective or want to spend time creating art or music.


    It’s a good idea to do something enjoyable while taking cannabis and surround yourself with friends and family – especially when getting used to your regimen. Also, be prepared with munchies and plenty of refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages as hunger and thirst are nearly universal symptoms of being “high.” This is why cannabis is used so often to treat anorexia.


    Other most common effects of cannabis are:

    • Relaxation
    • A changed perception of time
    • Loss of concentration
    • Temporary memory loss
    • Giggles
    • Happiness
    • Increased energy
    • Decreased energy, colloquially called “the couch lock”


    Marijuana Leaf


    What to Do If Your Dose Is Too Strong


    One effect of cannabis new users need to watch carefully for is anxiety. This can happen if you take too much THC for your tolerance level. Everyone is different, and what might be the perfect dose for your friend can be too much for you.


    Some people find that they become slightly paranoid and experience palpitations and panic instead of calm and euphoria. If this is you, remember to stay calm; no one has ever overdosed on cannabis. Call your doctor as soon as you can so he or she can adjust your dosage, method of administration and THC:CBD ratio.


    Meanwhile, first things first: eat something and drink plenty of fluids. Eating helps to slow down THC absorption rates in your digestive tract (if you took an edible form) and tends to curb the effects of the high. Drinking fluids will help to flush the extra THC from your system as well.


    Eating can also occupy your mind, which leads to our next point – find something fun to do. Some people find a panic attack can be turned around by watching a stand up comedian, playing cards with friends, and even reading a good book in a quiet room. And try to find someone pleasant to spend your time with. If you ingest a little too much THC, remember it’ll eventually wear off – even if it seems like forever. However, if you start to experience any abnormal symptoms like vomiting, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room.*


    *A Note About Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

    Unlike a well-known disease for which we know the cause, we call a set of symptoms with uncertain causes a syndrome. No one knows exactly what causes cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, but it’s thought to be a result of using highly potent cannabis. It also appears to come in three stages:


    • Prodromal: Can last for months to years and consists of feeling abdominal pain and nausea. Often, the patient increases their cannabis use to provide temporary relief from the symptoms.


    • Hyperemetic: At this point, patients begin vomiting profusely. They’ll also decrease their food intake and can become dehydrated in severe cases. Many find that the only relief is from the nausea is a hot shower. This is when the patient usually begins to seek help.


    • Recovery: Typically won’t start until the cannabis intake stops. Once it does, most patients begin to experience relief within days, but it could take months. If they use cannabis again, symptoms will likely return.


    No one knows why some develop this condition after using cannabis for years, and some don’t. It’s also confusing to hear that cannabis can actually cause nausea and vomiting after heavy use as it’s usually used to treat nausea and vomiting. As cannabis potency strengthens and legalization reduces conversational barriers between patients and physicians, it’s becoming more common for people to seek treatment for CHS.


    While this condition is very rare, it’s important to make sure new users understand that there are risks associated with heavy cannabis intake. Discuss these risks with your doctor and ensure that you follow up if you experience any unexpected nausea or vomiting.


    Trial and Error

    Sometimes it takes a little while to find the perfect dose. Often, a patient can become impatient with microdosing, especially if their doctor starts them on doses as low as 5mg. Lots of new patients find that tracking their symptoms helps monitor and find this perfect balance. Try saving your reactions to your doctor’s recommended administration methods and formulations in a journal or chart. 


    How to Stay Out of Trouble in New York


    None of the information in this section or article constitutes legal advice. We’ve provided the non-comprehensive list of potential violations below so you understand it’s still possible to get into legal trouble for cannabis possession, even with a valid medical marijuana card. You should not consider this the full summary of all regulations that apply to you as a patient. Always seek the advice of an attorney for legal questions about your medical cannabis use and possession. There are still tens of thousands of cannabis-related arrests in New York every year. Don’t put yourself in the position to be one of them.


    New York has decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis – 25 grams or less. However, you must keep your medical cannabis out of plain sight, not consume it in public, and definitely not possess more than the legal limit.


    Even if you’re a registered MMJ patient, keep your cannabis out of sight or face possible criminal penalties. Having any amount in public view, smoking or otherwise consuming in public could result in a misdemeanor and 90 days in jail. This includes using your legally authorized vape pen. And remember, vaping is the only legally approved way of inhaling cannabis. Keep in mind that your medical cannabis recommendation is for your use only – sharing your medical cannabis with others can also get you in trouble.


    The first couple of times you’re caught publicly possessing small amounts of unauthorized cannabis, you’ll be subject to a $100 or $200 fine (similar to a traffic ticket). If you’re caught more than twice, you could incur criminal penalties and even time in jail.


    Possessing less than a quarter ounce of concentrates without state authorization is a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail. Possession of more than a quarter ounce of concentrates is a felony that results in a minimum seven years in prison.


    Private New York cultivation remains illegal and will result in a misdemeanor and one year in jail. Possession charges for the amount grown can also result in a potential felony with several years in jail.


    Unauthorized possession of any paraphernalia, such as cannabis scales, bongs or pipes, is a misdemeanor as well, punishable by up to a year in jail. Be aware of these additional charges:

    • Giving away a joint can land you up to 3 months in jail
    • Selling any amount can cost you 7 years in jail
    • Trafficking will give you 15-25 years
    • Driving while high will result in criminal charges
    • Felony offenses can and likely will result in asset forfeiture


    As you can see, non-medical cannabis is anything but legal in New York, and there are still plenty of ways to get into trouble with authorized cannabis. This makes it all the more important to obtain and maintain your status as registered cannabis patient. There are far more protections for legal patients than for recreational users.


    Medical Marijuana Plant in the outdoors


    Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Cannabis in New York


    How much does cannabis cost in New York?

    Believe it or not, the Health Commissioner has the final say over New York cannabis prices. Dispensaries submit the cost of growing and manufacturing cannabis products and their proposed prices. Then the commissioner decides if it’s reasonable and approves or denies the cost.


    Can I get a card if I’m not a New York resident?

    Your doctor can register you as a temporary resident if you’re staying in NY for treatment. Your certification will only be valid for the length of your stay, and you’ll be required to provide proof of temporary residency.


    What if I don’t have a New York state ID?

    Your doctor can verify your identity using other methods if necessary. According to the alternative patient verification instructions:

    “The patient will upload a photo as a form of identification during the Patient Registration process. If your patient uploads a photo, you will receive an email from the Medical Marijuana Program to the email address printed on the patient’s certification asking you to validate that the photo received is a true likeness of your patient’s actual appearance. This validation must be performed before the New York State Department of Health can approve the patient’s registration.”


    If I become a registered patient, will that excuse me from drug testing at work?

    No. The state doesn’t provide protections for employees who use medical cannabis. If you’re concerned that your job doesn’t allow cannabis use outside of work, consider the potential consequences before making a final decision.


    Can cannabis use affect parental rights?

    Yes; there are no protections in New York for parents who are cannabis patients. The state does have a process, however, for parents to administer cannabis to their sick children in need.


    Are patients allowed to re-register before their old card expires?

    Yes. In fact, you’re expected to schedule your re-approval before your current registration expires.


    Need Help? Here’s Where to Go


    Our cannabis concierge team answers more than 300 questions each day through a live chat. Although these cannabis experts bend over backwards to solve any problem you have, even we admit there are some problems we can’t solve. The New York laws just aren’t perfect – yet.


    The list below contains contacts and links for some of the more active cannabis advocacy organizations in the state. If you know of any other organizations we could add to this list, we’d love to hear from you.


    The way we see it, the legalization fight is an ongoing battle that can only be won when no one has to worry about jail time for using this healing herb again and every prisoner of the cannabis drug war is free.  


    Please join us and the vast number of Americans who are now the marijuana majority in advocating for full legalization and an end to the war on drugs. We hope you now feel empowered to help make a change but, above all, you help change your own life with the medicine necessary to achieve the quality of life you deserve. 


    Additional Resources






    Activist Organizations:

    • Marijuana Policy Product
    • Drug Policy Alliance
    • Norml
    • High NY
    • Cannabis Society of New York
    • New York Cannabis Alliance
    • NYCannaBar


    Medical Cannabis Products Available in New York


    Medical Marijuana Products are available in New York


    Columbia Care

    Columbia Care has three different THC to CBD ratios for their product line:

    • High THC / Low CBD: This traditional formulation is commonly used to treat symptoms including severe pain, nausea, vomiting, appetite stimulation, and difficulty sleeping.
    • Equal THC / CBD: This balanced formulation is commonly used to treat symptoms including moderate pain, neuropathic pain, nausea, vomiting, appetite stimulation, inflammation, anxiety, and muscle spasms.
    • Low THC / High CBD: This specialty formulation is commonly used to treat symptoms including neuropathic pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures/epilepsy, and muscle spasms.


    Each of these formulations come in four different, easy-to-use consumption methods:

    • Sublingual tinctures
    • Vaporization oil
    • Hard-pressed tablets
    • Oral capsules


    You can find out more about Columbia Care’s line of products here.



    MedMen has five different formulations of THC to CBD for their line of products:

    • Wellness: A pure CBD ratio that optimizes health benefits and provides body relaxation with minimal cognitive side effects. Recommended for: patients with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
      • 0:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 0.00 mg*
      • CBD 200.00 mg*

    *THC below the limit of detection; <0.1mg/dose

    • Harmony: A perfect balance of THC and CBD that promotes well-being with subtle euphoric effects and mild cognitive side effects. Recommended for: patients with neuropathies, multiple sclerosis, cancer, IBS and chronic pain conditions.
      • 1:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 100.00 mg*
      • CBD 100.00 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.

    • Awake: A 20:1 THC to CBD ratio appropriate for daytime treatment that provides a euphoric, uplifting effect with moderate cognitive side effects. Recommended for: Treatment of moderate to severe pain, multiple sclerosis, ALS, HIV/AIDS and IBS.
      • 20:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 190.48 mg*
      • CBD 9.52 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.

    • Calm: A 50:1 THC to CBD ratio with subtle euphoric effects and notable cognitive side effects to help manage more severe symptoms. Recommended for: more severe symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis, ALS, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other chronic pain conditions.
      • 50:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 196.08 mg*
      • CBD 3.92 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.

    • Sleep: A 100:1 THC to CBD ratio that provides a relaxing and sedative effect with higher cognitive side effects and better suited for nighttime use. Recommended for: Treatment of pain conditions and patients with multiple sclerosis, ALS, HIV/AIDS and cancer.
      • 100:1 (THC:CBD)
      • THC 198.02 mg*
      • CBD 1.98 mg*

    No Additives or Fillers

    *Total content per package.


    Each of these five formulations come in two different consumption methods:

    1.) Vape pens for inhaled administration

    2.) Drops for oral administration.

    Find out more about MedMen and their product offerings here.



    Etain offers four different THC to CBD ratios for their product line:

    • Dolce: A high-CBD medical marijuana product. Dolce is formulated to provide a subtle euphoric effect in patients while concentrating on the calming effects of CBD. Dolce is formulated primarily from CBD with trace amounts of THC, and is intended for use by patients suffering from symptoms related to epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.

         Dolce is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
      • Oral spray formulated with a fresh mint taste
      • Vaporizers for inhaled use
    • Mezzo: A 2 CBD to 1 THC medical marijuana product. It’s formulated to lessen THC’s euphoric effects with CBD’s calming effects. Mezzo is intended for patients suffering from symptoms related to multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), neuropathies, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.

         Mezzo is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
    • Balance: An equal THC:CBD product. Balance provides a moderate euphoric effect accompanied by the calming effects of CBD. Balance is intended for patients suffering from symptoms related to Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Neuropathies, Spinal Cord Damage, Epilepsy, Huntington’s Disease, or Parkinson’s Disease.

         Balance is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
      • Oral spray formulated with a fresh mint taste
      • Vaporizers for inhaled use
    • Forte: This high-THC product provides a strong euphoric effect in patients. Forte is formulated primarily from THC with trace amounts of CBD and is intended for patients suffering from symptoms related to ALS, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, neuropathies, spinal cord damage, and cancer. Recommended for those with experience taking cannabis.

         Forte is available at their dispensaries as:

      • Capsules (pills) for oral use
      • Tinctures (oil) for sublingual (under the tongue) use
      • Oral spray formulated with a fresh mint taste
      • Vaporizers for inhaled use

    Discover more about Etain’s line of cannabis products here.



    Vireo’s products come in five different general formulations of THC to CBD, with slightly different precise ratios for each administration method.

    Blue: Vireo Blue products are predominantly CBD, with a small component of THC.

    • Blue Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 7 mg/mL

    CBD : 42 mg/mL

    • Blue Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 7 mg/mL

    CBD : 42 mg/mL

    • Blue Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 0.7 mg/capsule

    CBD : 4.3 mg/capsule

    • Blue Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 36 mg/mL

    CBD : 214 mg/mL

    • Blue Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 72 mg/mL

    CBD : 428 mg/mL

    Green: Vireo Green products are balanced, with equal amounts of THC and CBD.

    • Green Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 25 mg/mL

    CBD : 25 mg/mL

    • Green Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 25 mg/mL

    CBD : 25 mg/mL

    • Green Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 2.5 mg/capsule

    CBD : 2.5 mg/capsule

    • Green Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 125 mg/cartridge

    CBD: 125 mg/cartridge

    • Green Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 250 mg/mL

    CBD : 250 mg/mL

    Indigo: Vireo Indigo products are predominantly CBD, with a small component of THC.

    • Indigo Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 2.5 mg/mL

    CBD :  47.5 mg/mL

    • Indigo Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 2.5 mg/mL

    CBD :  47.5 mg/mL

    • Indigo Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 2.5 mg/capsule

    CBD :  47.5 mg/capsule

    Red: Vireo Red products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD.

    • Red Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 23.75 mg/mL

    CBD : 1.25 mg/mL

    • Red Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 23.75 mg/mL

    CBD : 1.25 mg/mL

    • Red Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 4.75 mg/capsule

    CBD : 0.25 mg/capsule

    • Red Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 237.5 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 12.5 mg/cartridge

    • Red Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 475 mg/mL

    CBD : 25 mg/mL

    Yellow: Vireo Yellow products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD. With all

    • Yellow Oral Solution, 25mL Bottle

    THC: 24 mg/mL

    CBD : 4 mg/mL

    • Yellow Oral Solution, 12.5mL Bottle

    THC: 24 mg/mL

    CBD : 4 mg/mL

    • Yellow Capsules, 30 Capsules

    THC: 4.3 mg/capsule

    CBD : 0.7 mg/capsule

    • Yellow Prefilled Vaporizer Cartridge, 0.5mL Cartridge

    THC: 214 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 36 mg/cartridge

    • Yellow Bulk Oil for Vaporization, 1mL Vial

    THC: 428 mg/mL

    CBD : 72 mg/mL

    Vaporizer Starter Pack: The vaporizer starter pack contains vaporizer cartridges from 3 different formulations, Green, Yellow and Red. Each formulation may have a different effect on your condition:

    • Vireo Green products are balanced, with equal amounts of THC and CBD.

    THC: 50 mg/cartridge

    CBD: 50 mg/cartridge

    • Vireo Yellow products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD.

    THC: 85.6 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 14.4 mg/cartridge

    • Vireo Red products are predominantly THC, with a small component of CBD.

    THC: 95 mg/cartridge

    CBD : 5 mg/cartridge

    Special discounts are offered to patients that require financial assistance. Listed prices are prior to any discount and subject to change. You can learn more about Vireo’s line of products here.



    Aqua Vaporizer (2:1) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 167.5mg, CBD 82.5mg

    Aqua Tincture (2:1) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid,THC 8mg per 2 ml, CBD 4mg per 2 ml

    Blue Vaporizer (20:1) Indica Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 250mg

    Blue Vaporizer (20:1) Sativa Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 250mg

    Blue Vaporizer (20:1) Hybrid Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 250mg

    Blue Tincture (20:1) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, THC 5mg per ml

    Blue Capsule (20:1) Extra Strength

    UNIT: 60 per bottle

    Ingredients: Proprietary, THC 9.5mg per capsule

    Blue Capsule (20:1) Standard Strength

    UNIT: 60 per bottle

    Ingredients: Proprietary, THC 5mg per capsule

    Green Vaporizer (1:1) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (65%), THC 200mg, CBD 200mg

    Green Tincture (1:1) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, THC 5mg per 2 ml, CBD 5mg per 2 ml

    Lime Vaporizer (1:4) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), THC 50mg, CBD 200mg

    Lime Tincture (1:4) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Ethanol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, THC 2mg per 2 ml, CBD 8mg per 2 ml

    Yellow Vaporizer (1:20) Oil

    UNIT: 1 ml

    Ingredients: Polyethylene Glycol 400 (75%), CBD 250mg

    Yellow Tincture (1:20) Tincture

    UNIT: 30 ml

    Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alphatocopherpol acetate, Ascorbyl palmitate, Peppermint Oil, CBD 9.5mg per 2 ml

    You can find out more about Curaleaf’s line of cannabis products here.



  3. We’ve Expanded NuggMD Telemedicine Evaluations to New York!

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    New York, NY:  On April 18, NuggMD, the California-based leading telemedicine portal that connects qualified medical marijuana patients with licensed physicians online, extends their services across New York. They are the first company to put forth a bold effort to combat the policies that currently severely restrict access to medical cannabis, despite it being legal in the state.


    What you'll learn in this post:

    [Click any of the section titles below to jump there]


    Medical Cannabis in New York


    In 2016, NuggMD assisted more than 40,000 California patients to obtain an online medical marijuana consultation with a licensed physician and with their launch, the company is excited to enable participating New York physicians to provide convenient and efficient care to patients statewide.


    In March 2015, New York passed the New York Telehealth Amendment Act (Senate Bill 2405), allowing doctors and nursing practitioners in the state to provide medical care and issue medical marijuana certifications 100% online using telehealth/telemedicine technology. With this, New York became one of the five states that does not require an in-person physical examination, to establish a bona fide patient-physician relationship.


    However, unlike in California, doctors in New York are required to register for the NYS Medical Marijuana Program and obtain a special certification in order to prescribe medical marijuana making access to care extremely limited. Out of 110,000 practitioners in New York, only 884 are registered for the NYS Medical Marijuana Program.


    “Although New York approved medical marijuana in 2014; barely 14,000 people legally have access to it because of restrictions on the visibility and number of doctors. This is a trend we’ve seen across the board in states with new marijuana laws on the books. Access should be feasible, but it’s not, and we’re going to change that; our network of cannabis-expert doctors will accelerate that change better than anyone else,” says Collin Mann, CEO at NuggMD.


    To make matters worse, the state Health Department refuses to release certified marijuana doctors’ names, keeping the potentially life-saving medicine out of reach for many who need it. Many patients find themselves 100 miles away from the nearest certified doctor, making it impossible to get the treatment they need.


    “It’s frustrating that we can’t find a practitioner, especially while knowing that children in different states have full access to this medicine” stated Dr. Amy Piperato, a doctor in NY whose daughter has epilepsy (video). This is why NuggMD has come to change the situation by extending its services to New York State.


    Qualifying Conditions for Cannabis in New York


    In NYS, several ailments qualify for Medical Marijuana; these include cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies, and Huntington’s disease.


    On December 1, 2016, the NYS Health Commissioner; Dr. Howard A. Zucker; announced that chronic pain will be added among the other qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, and now it HAS been added as of March, 2017. Finally, a sign that New York is finally on its way to granting true access to medical cannabis for patients who need it.


    About NuggMD


    NuggMD is California’s largest cannabis marketplace, facilitating access to cannabis in every major metropolitan area (and then some) statewide. It lets anyone consult with a marijuana doctor and order products online from dispensaries that deliver straight to them in under an hour. NuggMD is currently in the process of expanding its business nationwide, beginning with the expansion into New York starting in April.


    Are you a New York resident? Click here to start the New York evaluation process. It’s quick and easy, and your certification is delivered via email along with exact instructions on how to access medical cannabis in New York afterwards!


    For further information, visit https://getnugg.com/md/new-york



    Alex Milligan

    Co-founder & CMO