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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas

Body and Mind
Body and Mind August 25, 2022

Suffering from intense pain or medical conditions? The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment Act of 2016 allows you to obtain various strains, pre-rolls, and concentrates legally through an Arkansas medical marijuana card. This card can be used to purchase cannabis at state-sanctioned dispensaries like Body and Mind.

However, you are required to follow a procedure to obtain the medical marijuana card. This guide explains the requirements and overall process of getting the card quickly and affordably.

What is an Arkansas medical marijuana card?

An Arkansas medical marijuana card is a patient identification card you’ll receive from the Department of Health once you’ve been registered as a medical marijuana patient. The actual card will resemble any other identification card you might possess. Your image, address, and a special patient identification number will all be printed on it. ​

Benefits of an Arkansas medical marijuana card

There are three main benefits of getting an Arkansas medical marijuna card: the health benefits of marijuana, legal protection to buy and consume it, and access to dispensaries in other states.

Health benefits of marijuana

Recent research shows that marijuana has a larger application in medicine than previously thought. The fact that the Department of Health in Arkansas listed such a wide range of ailments is a testament to the use of medicinal marijuana and the advantages it can offer to patients who qualify. ​As a result, obtaining a medical marijuana card can have various benefits.

Legal protection for marijuana consumption

With the help of your Arkansas marijuana card, you can show law enforcement that you have registered with the state’s medical marijuana control program and are authorized to possess, transport, and use medical marijuana products.

However, it is still illegal to consume medical marijuana on a school bus, on the property of any school, in prison, in a private home that’s used to provide licensed child care, or other similar social service care, or in any other public area. ​

Access to cannabis in other states

You can enter any dispensary in Arkansas if you have a marijuana identification card from the state health department. However, you get more value than you bargained for with your Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card. This is because many states with existing medical marijuana legislation provide reciprocity as part of their policies. This means that you can buy marijuana in states with similar regulations using your Arkansas marijuana card.

Here’s a list of all the states in which an Arkansas medical marijuana card is valid:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington DC

Prerequisites for applying for a marijuana medical card

Particular requirements must be fulfilled to be eligible for applying for a medical marijuana card. These are as follows:

Have a qualifying condition

In order to be eligible for a medical marijuana card, you must have at least one of the following medical conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • HIV positive/acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Intractable pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms or multiple sclerosis

In case your medical condition is not covered in the above list, but you still need the medical marijuana card, you can send a petition to the Department of Health to consider your case. Within four months of filing the petition, your case will be heard, and based on that, your petition shall be accepted or rejected.

Parental Consent (in case of a minor)

If a patient is a minor, the consent of either parent or the minor’s primary caregiver is required. Here, the parent or the caregiver must be eligible to buy marijuana from the dispensaries and give it to the patient. The patient is not allowed to purchase the marijuana themselves. No such rules apply if the patient is an adult.

Qualifying as a Caregiver if You Are Not The Parent

In some cases, a child in Arkansas may need access to medical marijuna but will not have a parental figure to give consent. In this case, a designated caregiver can substitute consent for a minor patient, but they’re expected to follow certain guidelines.

First and foremost in order to be a qualified caregiver, a person must be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Taking care of a physically challenged minor
  • A resident of Arkansas
  • Not a member of the United States Armed Forces or the AR National Guard

The caregiver can obtain a medical marijuana registry card for up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis on the minor’s behalf if they meet the requirements mentioned above.

The caregiver must also consent to a background check that includes fingerprinting if they are not the parents or legal guardians of the minor. The background check, the Arkansas MMJ card application fee, and the doctor card certification must all be paid for by the caregiver applicant.

Not be a member of the AR National Guard and U.S. Military

Members of the National Guard and the US Military are prohibited from obtaining medical marijuana in Arkansas. This rule stems from the Arkansas Health Department which forbids members of the Arkansas National Guard and the US military from acquiring an ID card for the qualified patient or designated caregiver register.

In essence, if you’re an active member of either the national guard or any of the branches of the United States Military, then you’re disqualified from getting a medical marijuana card, even if you meet all of the other requirements. You are, however, allowed to hold a card after retiring from service.

Have an official physician’s written certification from a medical marijuana doctor

Since marijuana doesn’t have FDA approval, it cannot be prescribed legally to patients in Arkansas. However, as an exception, the usage of medical cannabis can be “recommended” to patients with qualifying conditions. You can obtain this recommendation from your physician. A doctor’s note confirming that you meet the requirements for medical cannabis use is all that is required to obtain the card.

This recommendation is valid for one month while applying for an Arkansas MMJ card. If you don’t submit an application by then, you’ll require a fresh recommendation.

Be an Arkansas resident with proof of residency

While applying for a medical marijuana card in Arkansas, you’ll also have to attach a document such as your driver’s license or a state ID card to prove that you’re a resident of Arkansas.

Application process for an Arkansas medical marijuana card

Now, let’s go over the process of applying for the card. First, you’ll have to submit your application either online or through the mail. To apply online:

  • You’ll need to submit a state-issued ID, a doctor’s certification, and a $50 application fee.
  • If you’re a minor, you’ll also need to submit the background check for your caregiver and an additional $37.

And if you’re applying through the website, then you’ll have to follow the following steps:

  • Select “Apply” from the menu.
  • Then select “Register as a new user.”
  • Click on the registration form (don’t forget to save your password).
  • Go to your email and confirm your account there.
  • Visit the website once more and finish the new patient application form.

You can check your approval status at any time after submitting your application on the site. Your application should be processed within 10 to 14 days. You can print your medical marijuana card after being approved and visit any authorized medical marijuana dispensary in Arkansas for purchase. Your card is valid for a year. Thus, both your patient registration and your doctor’s certification must be renewed annually.

Arkansas dispensary rules

Since Arkansas authorized medical marijuana, dispensaries have popped up across the state. In dispensaries, you are permitted to buy up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time. If you’ve never purchased cannabis in Arkansas before, the staff will be ready to assist you in finding the products you require.

To make a purchase, you must present both your ID and your medical marijuana card. You should carry cash with you when you visit the dispensary. Many banks are unable to execute transactions involving medicinal marijuana cards since marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. The majority of dispensaries offer an ATM on-site, so you don’t need to panic if you forget to bring cash.

How to renew your medical marijuana card

You must first obtain an updated doctor’s certification, reapply, and pay the $50 renewal cost in order to renew your card. Fortunately, renewing an Arkansas medical marijuana card online is fairly simple. Your application can be submitted online. After which, it should get processed within two weeks.

We hope our guide to getting a Medical Marijuana Card has been useful and that you get your application approved as quickly as possible. And while you’re in Arkansas, feel free to drop by our West Memphis Dispensary to put that medical card to good use.

Our broad range of cannabis choices for customers comprises flowers, pre-rolls, hemp blunts, concentrates, and edibles. You can choose the lineage according to your preferences. We will provide all the relevant information such as THC potency, weight, and the type of products.

Along with Arkansas, we also have dispensaries in Ohio, California, and Michigan, so if you ever find yourself in any of those places, come by and get your hands on some of our wide variety of cannabis products.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve never had a medical marijuana card or used marijuana for medical purposes in Arkansas, you may have a few doubts. Here are some common questions most people have about the Arkansas medical marijuana card:

Is medical marijuana legal in Arkansas?

Yes, Arkansas has legalized medical marijuana since 2016. The state adopted the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (AMMA), which enables patients with qualifying medical conditions to buy, possess, and use medical marijuana in Arkansas.

How much marijuana can you have with a medical card?

Patients and caregivers are permitted to purchase up to 2.5 ounces (or 70.87 grams) of marijuana from a single dispensary in Arkansas every two weeks. For some pain patients there might be more precise possession limitations, but this is at the ADH’s discretion.

Can you grow medical marijuana plants in Arkansas?

No. In Arkansas, growing marijuana is not legal even for medicinal purposes. Cannabis products can only be bought and consumed, not grown. Depending on how much cannabis is grown, anyone found cultivating cannabis can either be charged with simple possession or possession with the intent to deliver.

How do you get a caregiver license in Arkansas?

Arkansas’s medical marijuana caregiver laws are straightforward – you must have proof of residency in the state and be at least 21 years old or the parent of a patient who is underage. The medical marijuana caregiver regulations in Arkansas forbid you from working with patients if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, are a member of the Arkansas National Guard, or are in the US military.

If you meet the requirements, you can fill out the caregiver application on the ADH website. You must pay a $50 registry fee, just like patients, and a minor cost for a background check. You must submit your application together with this completed background check and wait for clearance.

Does insurance cover medical marijuana costs?

MMJ is not covered by insurance because of the complex federal regulations governing medical cannabis. However, you might be able to ask your insurance company to pay for your doctor visits and associated costs.

How much does a medical marijuana card cost in Arkansas?

You have to pay $50 for the card itself, along with whatever additional charge you incurr for the doctor’s consultation in order to get the certificate declaring you eligible to obtain a medical marijuana card.

How much does medical marijuana cost in Arkansas?

Currently, Arkansas has a far higher average medical marijuana price than the rest of the nation. This varies depending on where you get your marijuana from. However, most stores charge around $20 per gram on average.

In comparison, the majority of other dispensaries in the US sell cannabis for around $10 per gram. So, when purchasing medicinal marijuana in Arkansas, you might end up paying more.

Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives?

No. The State of Arkansas clearly outlines that a medical marijuana card must be presented upon the purchase of any amount of marijuana. And most dispensaries in Arkansas require customers to present their card before they’re allowed to enter the store.

Body and Mind
Body and Mind August 25, 2022

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