How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska
Consult a Marijuana-Friendly AK Physician
To get an Alaska medical card, applicants must provide a physician’s statement confirming the diagnosis of a debilitating medical condition. The physician must state that they have a bonafide physician-patient relationship with the applicant and have personally examined them, and on what date. The physician must also state that they have considered the other treatments available and concluded that the applicant might benefit from medical marijuana.
The examination must occur within 16 months immediately preceding the application date.
Fill in the Application Form
The “Application for Registry Identification Card for Medical Use of Marijuana” form is available on the Alaska Department of Health website and must be completed by all applicants. The required information includes the following:
- The applicant’s name, address, and date of birth
- The applicant’s Alaska driver’s license number or ID card number
- The certifying physician’s name, address, and telephone number
- The name, address, and date of birth of any caregivers nominated
- The Alaska driver’s license or ID card number of any caregivers nominated
You must provide a legible photocopy of an Alaska State driver’s license or ID card for the applicant and any caregivers along with your application form.
If the applicant is a minor, their parent or guardian must write a statement confirming that their physician has explained the possible risks and benefits of medical marijuana and that they consent to serve as a primary caregiver.
Send in Your Application
Completed application forms and photocopies of your driver’s license or state ID should be sent to the following address, along with a check or money order made payable to the Bureau of Vital Statistics:
Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics
PO Box 110699
Juneau, AK 99811-0699
It is essential to check your application carefully before sending it to the Bureau, as any incomplete applications will be denied, and you cannot reapply for another six months.
It is advisable to use “Return Receipt Service” when mailing your application to ensure it is received.
Visit a Dispensary
Once your application is approved and you receive your Alaska MMJ card, you can visit a dispensary and buy your medicine. You will need to bring a valid state ID as well as your MMJ card to make your purchase.
Copies of cards will not be accepted. Neither will cards that have been laminated or altered in any way that impairs legibility.
How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska
- A Step-by-Step Guide
- Consult an AL physician to confirm the diagnosis of a qualifying condition
- Fill in the “Application for Registry Identification Card for Medical Use of Marijuana” form
- Check your application carefully
- Mail your application, photocopied documents, and payment to the Bureau of Vital Statistics
- Receive your Alaska MMJ card
- Visit a dispensary and buy your medicine
Alaska Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions
To apply for a medical marijuana card in Alaska, you must:
- Be aged 18+
- Be a resident of Alaska
- Have a debilitating medical condition as diagnosed by a physician
Patient Qualifying Conditions
To be eligible for MMJ, Alaska residents must be diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition. The list of AK medical marijuana card qualifying conditions includes the following:
- Treatment for any of the above conditions
- Any chronic or debilitating condition or treatment which produces cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis and which, in the physician’s professional opinion, may be alleviated by medical marijuana
- Any other condition or treatment for such condition approved by the department, under regulations adopted under AS17.37.060 or approval of a petition submitted under AS17.37.060
The latter means that patients with debilitating conditions not mentioned above can petition the state to add it to the list of qualifying conditions.
General Guidelines Medical Marijuana Card Renewal in Alaska
Patients must renew their Alaska MMJ card annually by resubmitting updated information, including their personal details and a new physician’s statement. The renewal fee is $20. If a renewal application is received after a card has expired, it will be treated as a new application, which costs $25.
MMJ patients must notify the department of any name, address, physician, or caregiver changes within 10 days. If the patient no longer has a debilitating condition, they must return their MMJ card to the registry within 24 hours of diagnosis.
It is possible to nominate a primary and alternative caregiver to help purchase and use medical marijuana. Minors must have a caregiver to be approved, and this should be a parent or legal guardian. Caregivers must also:
- Be aged 21+
- Have never been convicted of a felony offense
- Not currently be on probation or parole
- Hold a valid Caregiver Registry ID Card
Caregivers can only look after one patient at a time unless they are simultaneously caring for two patients who are related to them by at least the fourth degree of kinship (either by blood or marriage).
A Brief History of Cannabis in Alaska
Alaska decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use in 1975 and was only the second state to do so. In 1982, Alaska decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce outside the home and four ounces inside the home. Marijuana possession was recriminalized in 1990, but this law did not last long and was repealed in 1993.
In 1998, Alaska became one of the first states to introduce a medical marijuana program, and in 2014, recreational laws were passed. Now, adults aged 21+ can legally buy and possess cannabis in AK. Cultivating up to six plants is also legal, although no more than three of these plants can mature at any one time.
Alaska Medical Marijuana Laws and Rules
Over 21s can buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis outside the home and up to four ounces inside the home.
Possessing over an ounce in public is a misdemeanor and carries a possible prison term of up to a year. Possessing over four ounces is a felony with a possible prison term of five years. Possession with intent to distribute is a misdemeanor, and possession of over an ounce with intent to distribute is a felony.
Residents can cultivate up to six plants at home, three of which can be mature at any one time. If two or more adults live together, they can cultivate a maximum of 12 plants, six of which can be mature. It is only possible to cultivate plants for personal use, and the cultivation of over 25 plants is a felony. If you live in rented accommodation, you must seek permission from the owner before cultivating cannabis at home.
The public consumption of cannabis is still illegal in AK and carries a $100 fine.
What Types of Cannabis Products Can I Purchase in Alaska?
Alaska residents can purchase a broad range of cannabis products, including:
- Dry herb
- Edibles and infused beverages
FAQ | Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in AK
Getting an MMJ card in Alaska can be slow since you still need to apply by snail mail. According to the program, it should take a maximum of five weeks to process your application once it is received. You should then receive your card in the mail within two weeks.
The approval rate when applying for a medical card with MMJ Card Online is exceptionally high. This is good news because if your application is denied, you are not allowed to apply again for another six months. However, Alaskan adults can buy cannabis without an MMJ card.
There is a non-refundable application fee of $25 for new patients and $20 for renewals. You will also need to pay for a physician’s consultation, which could cost hundreds of dollars. Contact us today to see whether we could save you money and eliminate the hassle of getting your Alaska MMJ card.
Both MMJ cardholders and recreational users can buy up to an ounce of cannabis or 7g of cannabis concentrate. It is legal to possess up to an ounce in public and up to four ounces in a private residence.
Alaska has one of the highest numbers of dispensaries per capita in the United States. There are over 150 to choose from, and there are few differences between medical and recreational sales.
No. Cannabis is a federally illegal substance that cannot be transported across state lines. Out-of-state MMJ cards are not accepted in Alaska, but visitors aged 21+ can buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary. Some other states may accept Alaska MMJ cards, but we recommend checking before you travel.