Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010 when voters passed Prop. 203. Passage of the law signaled a win for cannabis reform in Arizona, but lawmakers have crafted some of the most limiting medical marijuana laws in the country.
Under Prop. 203, qualifying patients can obtain a medical marijuana card with the help of an approved doctor. Arizona’s medical marijuana laws are administered by the Arizona Department of Health Services. If you’re thinking of applying for a medical card in Arizona, here’s everything you need to know.
Benefits of a Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona
Arizona hasn’t legalized adult-use cannabis, which is one reason to get your medical marijuana card. Even with adult-use laws, there are many reasons one would get a medical card. Typically, medical marijuana patients are given higher purchasing and possession limits. Here are a few reasons why you should consider getting a medical marijuana card in Arizona:
- You don’t have to pay an excise tax.
- You can possess, use, and cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes.
- You can purchase cannabis from dispensaries in your state and in other states with reciprocity laws.
Qualifying Conditions in Arizona
If you want to apply for a medical cannabis card in Arizona, you must have one or more of the approved medical conditions listed for marijuana use. If your condition is not on the list, you can submit a written request to add your condition to the list if you can show there is enough reasonable cause to support your claim. Here’s a list of Arizona’s list of qualifying conditions:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those from epilepsy
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those from multiple sclerosis
Medical Card Application Process in Arizona
Arizona only accepts online medical card applications from Arizona residents over the age of 18 or minors with a designated parent caregiver. Before you submit your application, you must visit a licensed medical doctor such as an allopathic (MD), osteopathic (DO), homeopathic [MD(H)/DO(H)], or naturopathic (NMD or D) doctor in Arizona. A licensed doctor will confirm your qualifying condition and complete a signed copy of the state’s Physician Certification Form.
It’s helpful if you send over your medical records before your scheduled appointment, so the doctor can review your medical history. You can obtain your medical records from your primary physician and should receive them within 30 days of your request. The Arizona Department of Health Services will not provide you with a list of medical marijuana doctors. You’ll have to search online for licensed marijuana doctors in Arizona.
Once you have your medical marijuana recommendation, you’ll need to print and complete the state’s Patient Attestation Form. Here’s exactly what documents you’ll need to provide:
- A photograph of yourself that was taken no more than 60 calendar days before the submission of the application. Photographs must be 2” x 2” in size and taken in natural color with a plain background without anything obstructing your face.
- Completed medical marijuana physician certification form.
- Completed medical marijuana patient attestation form.
- Copy of a valid photo ID (driver’s license, ID card, SNAP documentation, passport). Items must be scanned and uploaded in PDF format. Contact your local library or office supply store for help downloading and submitting your application.
- A Mastercard or Visa credit, debit, or pre-paid card for payment.
After you’ve made a copy of all the necessary documents, you can start your online application. Make sure to complete all the required fields. Once completed, you’ll pay the application fee and submit it for approval. You’ll be emailed within five days letting you know if you’re approved. Your medical card should arrive in the mail within 10 days.
If you’re applying to become a registered patient or caregiver, you need to pay an application fee. Generally, application fees are $150 for a medical card that is valid for one year. SNAP patients who provide documentation can pay a reduced $75 application fee. You’ll have to pay a $10 fee if you want to amend or replace your card.
Patients under 18 must apply for a medical marijuana card with a parent or legal guardian. If you’re a minor, you need to complete the Physician Certification for Patients Under 18 with a licensed doctor. You’ll also be filling out an Attestation Form for Patients Under 18 and all the necessary documents mentioned above. A designated parent caregiver must submit fingerprints and a Fingerprint Verification Form by mail.
Finding a Primary Caregiver
In Arizona, you must be 21 years of age or older and not have an excluded felony offense to be a primary caregiver. A primary caregiver helps a qualifying patient obtain and administer marijuana. Caregivers can have up to five patients at a time, but patients can only have one caregiver. Caregivers must receive a caregiver card for each patient, each with a $200 fee.
Buying Medical Marijuana
Once you have your medical marijuana card, you and a caregiver can purchase cannabis from a dispensary or delivery service starting the day you receive your approval email. You can use the approval letter until you receive your card. Once approved, the Department of Health Services will send you a list of licensed dispensaries.
Registered patients and caregivers can possess no more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis in a 14-day period. Patients can also receive cannabis from another qualifying patient. Home cultivation is only allowed if there isn’t a dispensary within 25 miles of your home. If you qualify, you are allowed to grow up to 12 cannabis plants in an enclosed and locked facility.
If you’re visiting Arizona and have a medical card from your state, you will be able to possess and consume medical cannabis, but won’t be able to buy it from a dispensary. Arizona dispensaries only sell to medical cardholders who must be Arizona residents.
Arizona’s stringent medical marijuana laws shouldn’t deter you from registering to become a medical cardholder. It’s never been easier to treat your debilitating disease with cannabis, if your doctor approves. If you’re interested in learning more about medical marijuana as well as its effects and many uses, sign up for Cannabis Training University’s Master of Marijuana Certification program today.