Applying for an Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card
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In most states, getting a physician’s recommendation is an essential part of the application process, and it is no different in Arkansas. You must use either a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed within the state and in “good standing.” Furthermore, the physician must also have a controlled substance license on file with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Finally, you must have a bona fide doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional.
Consult with an AZ Medical Marijuana Doctor
Thanks to the wonders of telemedicine, you can complete the appointment online, although you may prefer to discuss MMJ with the doctor in person. Either way, you must provide your medical records and have a printout of the blank patient certification form ready. Give this form to the staff at the physician’s practice and undergo a physical exam. Then, the doctor will ask questions to determine whether you’re a good candidate for MMJ. Typically, the appointment lasts 10-15 minutes.
Create an AR State Government Account & Wait!
If you get the doctor’s approval, submit your application via the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) website within 30 days. Failure to do so means you need to schedule another consultation to get a fresh certification. You’ll also need a photo ID to prove you’re a resident of Arkansas to complete the form. As the ADH doesn’t provide any temporary cards, you’ll have to wait for the physical one to arrive in the mail.
How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas
- A Step-by-Step Guide
- Review the list of qualifying medical conditions in Arkansas and check other eligibility criteria
- Look for a cannabis-friendly doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed to practice in AK
- Schedule an appointment in person or online
- Bring your patient records to the appointment
- Print out the blank certification form and bring it to the practice
- Complete a physical examination and discuss your use of MMJ with the doctor
- Once you receive certification, complete the MMJ application form on the ADH website within 30 days
- After receiving your MMJ card in Arkansas, visit a dispensary to purchase your medicine
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions
You’re only eligible for an Arkansas medical marijuana card if you meet the following criteria:
- You’re a resident of Arkansas
- You’re aged 18+
- You have one of the qualifying medical conditions outlined below
Patient Qualifying Conditions
The following is a list of qualifying medical conditions; you must be diagnosed with one or more of them to become eligible for a medical card in Arkansas:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Severe nausea
- Ulcerative colitis
- Intractable pain (if it hasn’t responded to conventional forms of treatment in the last six months)
- Seizures, particularly if associated with epilepsy
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as those associated with MS
- Severe arthritis
However, it is still possible to get a medical marijuana card in Arkansas if you don’t have any of the above conditions. The process involves petitioning the ADH, requesting them to consider your illness. In this scenario, the ADH has a hearing and decides whether to approve or deny you within 120 days of your application.
There is plenty of ground to cover regarding MMJ card applications in Arkansas. Therefore, we have included the following sections to explain everything you need to know.
Medical Marijuana Card Renewal in Arkansas
MMJ patients in AK can start the renewal process 60 days before their card expires. Please ensure you begin renewing your card at least 30 days before the expiry date. The cost of a renewal is $50.
Bear in mind that the medical marijuana card is valid for a year. However, the doctor can decide whether you should have the MMJ card for a different period in Arkansas.
The Arkansas medical marijuana program permits patients to assign a caregiver to buy MMJ from a dispensary or possess up to 2.5 ounces of the substance on their behalf. Caregivers can also dispense medical marijuana to cardholders.
A caregiver in AK can serve more than one MMJ patient. Also, employers can’t discriminate against caregivers. It costs $37 for a caregiver background check, although the process is free if the individual is a parent or legal guardian of a minor MMJ patient.
To become a caregiver, you must apply for a registry card for each patient you intend to help, and each card costs $50.
A Brief History of Cannabis in Arkansas
For decades, Arkansas had among the strictest anti-marijuana laws in the country. However, towns such as Fayetteville and Eureka Springs made steps towards decriminalization in the early 2000s. Finally, in November 2016, 53% of voters said “yes” to Issue 6, legalizing medical marijuana in AK.
It seemed as if the state was set to legalize recreational marijuana as well. However, residents voted against an adult-use marijuana initiative in November 2022. Therefore, the only way to legally buy and possess the substance in Arkansas is via a medical marijuana card.
Arkansas Medical Marijuana Laws and Rules
As the state hasn’t decriminalized marijuana, the penalties for illegal purchase, possession, sale or use remain severe. Indeed, you face a misdemeanor charge and a possible 12-month prison term if caught in possession of any amount of marijuana without an MMJ card. If you’re found in possession of marijuana a second time, you face a Class D felony charge. A conviction means you could spend up to six years in jail.
It is also a felony to possess four or more ounces, with a potential six-year prison term as the punishment. The same sentence applies for delivering over half an ounce of marijuana. Delivering any amount is a misdemeanor crime, and you could be imprisoned for up to a year if found guilty.
What Types of Cannabis Products Can I Purchase in AK?
As no noteworthy restrictions exist, MMJ patients in Arkansas have plenty of choices. Available products include:
- Vape pens
- Marijuana flower
FAQ | Getting an MMJ Card in Arkansas
According to the ADH, processing an application can take up to 14 business days. Then you have to wait for the card to arrive once your application is approved.
Certainly, it is disappointing to go to a consultation only to find that the doctor doesn’t provide you with the necessary recommendation. However, at MMJCardOnline, a huge percentage of our patients receive approval. If you meet the eligibility criteria, there’s nothing to worry about! Furthermore, we’ll ensure you receive 100% of your money back if you aren't approved.
The application fee is set at $50. You must also pay for the cost of the consultation, which is up to $250. However, you can save a significant sum of money by using MMJCardOnline.
Yes. Applicants aged 17 or younger can apply as long as a parent or legal guardian is their caregiver.
The best place to use your MMJ is in a private residence. It is illegal to use it in any location where tobacco is banned. Only cardholders aged 21+ can smoke the substance, and it is against the law to knowingly smoke the substance in the presence of a pregnant woman or someone aged 13 or younger.
As a medical marijuana cardholder in Arkansas, you can buy a maximum of 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis every 14 days.
According to the state’s medical marijuana law, there can be a maximum of 40 dispensaries in Arkansas. At present, the state has yet to reach this limit. The dispensaries are distributed across eight designated zones. Consequently, there’s a chance that you’ll face a significant journey to find your nearest dispensary.
No. It remains illegal to cross state lines with marijuana as it is a federally prohibited substance. However, out-of-state patients with valid MMJ cards can buy marijuana from Arkansas dispensaries and use it within the state. Such individuals must pay a $50 fee and gain access to MMJ for 90 days. It is essential to always have your MMJ card with you in this scenario. Also, AK MMJ cardholders can buy medical marijuana in states that have reciprocity with Arkansas.
No. It remains illegal to cultivate marijuana in AK regardless of whether you’re an MMJ cardholder or not. If caught growing the plant, you will be charged according to the amount of marijuana produced. Therefore, if you cultivate a single plant that produces more than four ounces of usable cannabis, you could face a felony charge! That said, if you apply to the ADH for a Hardship Cultivation Certificate, you could grow up to ten plants. You are potentially eligible if you live far away (over 20 miles) from a non-profit marijuana care center.