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Arkansas voters passed Amendment 98, also known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act, in November 2016. The constitutional amendment allows qualifying patients to purchase and use medical marijuana from a licensed retailer. Arkansas’ first dispensary, however, wasn’t open until May 11, 2019. A small network of dispensaries has provided thousands of patients with the medicine they need. Here’s how you can apply for a medical marijuana card in Arkansas’ medical marijuana program.
The history of marijuana in Arkansas began in 1923 when the state burned all forms of weed.
In 2016 Arkansas voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment( AMMA), also known as Issue 6 that allows critically ill patients to consume and possess marijuana.
The patients must obtain a certified physician certification to possess pot with an Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card. Also, they can use the MMJ card to establish licenses from the Arkansas state to cultivate weed.
This year (2020) Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Initiative failed to get enough signatures to appear in the general elections. If it would have gone through, the people of Arkansas over 21 years of age would legally use marijuana. The issue will be revisited in 2022.
Who Qualifies for Medical Cannabis Card in Alaska?
Patients with critical medical conditions in Arkansas qualify for Arkansas pot card. Here are the major illnesses that a patient in Arkansas qualifies to get an MMJ card.
- Alzheimer's diseases – Some studies suggest that cannabis products could help reduce the behavioral symptoms of dementia-like agitation and aggression as per the Alzheimer Society. However, more research needs to be done to prove this.
- ALS – Research done indicates significant help in reducing symptoms of ALS with CBD oil consumption.
- PTSD – 2016 study indicates that applying CBD oil on a child with PTSD reduces anxiety, and the child sleeps better.
- Severe Arthritis – CBD products have proven to reduce anxiety and inflammation. Patients with arthritis who have tried cannabis products have noticed pain relief and sleep improvement.
- Crohn's disease – Cannabis oil may reduce the symptoms of Crohn's disease.
Other severe illness that will qualify you for a Medical Marijuana card in Arkansas include;
- Wasting syndrome ( Cachexia)
- Hepatitis C
- Tourette's syndrome
- Severe muscle spasms
- Ulcerative colitis
- Severe nausea
- Seizures characteristics associated with Epilepsy
Suppose none of these diseases fit your illness description. In that case, you need to petition the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), which will grant you a hearing whether to approve or deny your petition within 120 days of your submission.
What is the Required Information for Arkansas Medical Cannabis Card Program?
- You must be 18 years and above to qualify for the Arkansas MMJ card. For those under 18 years must have a guardian or parent's consent.
- Patients must be A.R. residents and provide proof of residency with a Driver's license or valid State of Arkansas I.D. card.
- Patients must be diagnosed with the above-given diseases.
- You need written certification from a qualified Arkansas physician.
- For you to get a Medical Marijuana card in A.R., you must submit your application online or by using their mailing addresses; Arkansas Department of Health Medical Marijuana Section 4815 West Makham Slot 50 Little Rock, AR 72205.
NOTE; The application costs $50 per application, and it's non-refundable. Arkansas National Guard & United States Military are prohibited from obtaining a Registry I.D. card.
6. When you get approved, ADH will notify you and mail the MMJ AR card.
A Step-by-Step Guide To Get Medical Marijuana Card In Arkansas
Step 1 – Schedule an Appointment with a Qualified Physician
You need to get the medical certification, and your physician must meet these criteria;
- Have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with you.
- In good standing to practice medicine in Arkansas state.
- Must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy license in Arkansas.
- Have controlled substance license in the file with the DEA
Before you schedule the appointment, fill this blank application form, then hand it over to your physician when you start the medical examination.
Step 2 – Submit Your Application to the ADH
After an appointment with the Arkansas doctor, which usually takes up to 15 minutes, you need to submit your application to ADH because the doctor's certification is valid for 30 days only.
You can complete the application online via the ADH website.
Along with a doctor's written certification in Arkansas, you need a photocopy of your driver's license or state identification card.
Whether your confidentiality is protected when you apply for and if approved to used cannabis for medical use, the Arkansas Department of Health for Medical Marijuana Section is subject to all applicable federal privacy laws.
Step 3 – Find the Nearest Dispensaries
When you get approved, your MMJ weed card is valid for one year. On how long you should wait for the approval, Arkansas does not state it clearly.
You are allowed to buy 2.5 ounces of weed from a licensed dispensary near you after every 14 days.
You can also purchase other cannabis products like tinctures, CBD oil, flower products, edibles, CBD gummies, and vape liquids.
What are the Benefits of Having an Arkansas Medical Cannabis Card?
- Medical Marijuana Treatment – For those suffering from severe health conditions in Arkansas and require weed to help them in their treatment can access cannabis products with an Arkansas marijuana card.
- Access to Arkansas Dispensary – You get access to marijuana from any Arkansas Marijuana Dispensaries near you. With your MMJ card, you get to buy other weed products like edibles, CBD oils, and tinctures.
- Legal Protection with Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card – You can possess marijuana (5 ounces) and travel within the Arkansas state without law enforcement issues if you have the MMJ pot card.
- Access Cannabis in the Other States – If you run out of your marijuana in another state as a patient, the Arkansas MMJ card allows you to stock up in other states with the same medical marijuana requirements.
Benefits of a Medical Cannabis Card in Arkansas
Arkansas was the 33rd state to legalize medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana use, sale, or possession is illegal. In fact, Arkansas has one of the harshest possession laws in the nation. A valid medical card enables you to obtain legal marijuana products such as whole flower buds and edibles. Having a range of potent and safe products ensures you get the highest quality medicine. A medical marijuana card also extends your rights and protections to other states in the nation that offer reciprocity laws.
Qualifying Conditions Arkansas
Here is a more comprehensive list of qualifying conditions. I
The certification confirms that the physician conducted an in-person patient assessment. Arkansas has a list of qualifying conditions, but patients can petition to add a new one. Arkansas residents must have one or more of the following qualifying conditions to register for the medical cannabis program
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Intractable pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six months
- Severe nausea
- Seizures including those characteristic of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- Any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the Department of Health
Buying and Growing Medical Cannabis in Arkansas
Arkansas issued 32 dispensary licenses, but only ten are open (as of October 2019). Qualifying patients and caregivers can purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis from a licensed retailer every 14 days. Customers are able to buy a variety of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Medical cardholders can buy dry flower, concentrates, edibles, and topicals. Cannabis home cultivation is prohibited.
Arkansas Caregiver Laws
In Arkansas, a caregiver is “a person who is selected by a qualifying patient as the person authorized, on the qualifying patient’s behalf, to possess, obtain from a certified medical marijuana dispensary, dispense and assist in the administration of medical marijuana.”
Caregivers are able to serve more than one patient but must submit a separate application and fee for each patient. Caregivers must be 21 years of age or older, have not been convicted of an excluded felony offense, and be an Arkansas resident. Parents or legal guardians serving a minor with a qualifying condition are not required to go through a criminal history check. Caregivers must pay a $37 fee to complete the criminal history check.
Out-of-State Patients Arkansas Cannabis
Out-of-state patients with a valid medical card can complete a visiting patient application form. Visitors must pay the non-refundable $50 application fee. If approved, visitors can purchase medical marijuana in the state for a 30-day period.
Keep that in mind if you are looking into how to apply for a medical cannabis card in Arkansas.
Arkansas’ medical marijuana program has been a strong revenue generator for the state, earning it $12.35 million in its first five months of operation. Arkansas lawmakers are working to expand medical marijuana access to patients across the state. The medical marijuana cards are not difficult to acquire if you suffer from one of the qualifying conditions.
It's important to know that Arkansas has banned places where you cannot use any form of marijuana. These include;
- In any motor vehicle.
- On the grounds of the preschools, primary and secondary schools.
- In any public place.
- In correctional facilities.
- Inside private residences licensed to provide childcare.
- In the presence of a pregnant woman.
Cannabis Training Arkansas
If you want to learn more about becoming a medical marijuana patient and using the plant in a safe manner, enroll in Cannabis Training University marijuana certification program. Cannabis Training University is the top cannabis training school online. The Arkansas cannabis college is CTU.
Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.