Published: Feb 17, 2021

Can I receive a Medical Cannabis Card if I Have My Pistol Permit

In our latest question and answer, our expert discusses if having a pistol permit prevents you from obtaining a medical cannabis card.

Answered by: Dr. Geoffrey Brown, PharmD

J Fred Asked

Can a registered NYS concealed carry pistol permit holder get, or ‘co-hold’ a medical use card?

Summary

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There is nothing that prevents a pistol permit holder from getting a medical cannabis card in NYS.

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However, you'd be breaking Federal Law when purchasing guns or ammunition.

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Cannabis (even medical) is still considered a Federally prohibited substance.

Answer

Hi Fred and thanks for reaching out. This is a question that I’m sure many people are curious about. At the State level, there are no laws that explicitly state medical marijuana cardholders can’t hold pistol permits or vice versa. However, there is one question on the NYS firearms application that would likely preclude a medical marijuana cardholder from obtaining their concealed carry license.

The section on the application, where applicants are asked the following, “Are you an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined in section 21 U.S.C. 802? (Y/N)”

The legislative section (21 USC 802) referenced in the above question is from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act which is a Federal statute. On the Federal level, marijuana and all its constituents are considered controlled substances. Therefore, if you’re a medical marijuana cardholder and you apply for a firearms license in NYS, you’d have to check “Yes” on this question (or you’d be lying on your application) and this would likely preclude you from successfully obtaining a license.

Now back to your question. If you already have your license for carrying a concealed firearm can you ‘co-hold’ a medical marijuana card? Technically yes, but you would still be breaking Federal law when buying guns or ammunition. This goes back to the last paragraph (above) and the fact that marijuana is still considered a prohibited substance at the Federal level. People that are using a prohibited substance, or those that are addicted, cannot lawfully be sold guns or ammo according to section 922(d) of the 1968 Gun Control Act.

I hope this helps answer your question! Feel free to reach back out at any time.

Dr. Geoffrey Brown, PharmD

Dr. Geoffrey Brown is a registered medical cannabis pharmacist in New York State and the founder of CannaBuff. He graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2018. He has published cannabis research that's been featured by NORML and numerous news outlets. Please feel free to reach out to him if you want to connect!