Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card

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Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Arkansas?

Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas. In 2016, 53% of voters in Arkansas approved Amendment 98, a medical marijuana initiative otherwise known as the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, to legalize medical marijuana. Amendment 98 allows individuals suffering from severe illnesses, also known as qualifying patients, to obtain and use medicinal marijuana in Arkansas. However, such individuals must have written statements certifying that they suffer from one or more qualifying medical conditions from a licensed physician and be registered with the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) runs the state's Medical Marijuana Program.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas in 2024


Schedule an Appointment with an Arkansas-licensed Healthcare Provider: In-person evaluation is required to obtain a written medical marijuana certification. Telemedicine assessments are not accepted for certification


Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card: Applications can be submitted online or by mail to the Arkansas Department of Health


Wait for Approval: Allow up to 14 days for the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to process your application from the date of receipt, considering mail time

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Arkansas

In 2024 in Arkansas, only qualifying patients registered in the state's Medical Marijuana Program and patients' designated caregivers can legally buy medicinal cannabis at licensed dispensaries. Qualifying patients must have obtained written statements from Arkansas-licensed doctors certifying that they suffer from at least one of the following qualifying medical conditions:

  • Glaucoma
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Severe arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Pain that has not responded to ordinary treatment, surgical measures, or medications for at least 6 months
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms (including those that come with multiple sclerosis)
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Seizures, including those typical of epilepsy
  • Severe nausea
  • Crohn's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Hepatitis C
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)

Under Amendment 98, medical marijuana patients may not possess more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana, excluding the weight of any beverage or food combined with the marijuana in a 14-day period. While they can legally get medical cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries, it is illegal for patients to use medical marijuana in public places.

Can I Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card In Arkansas Online?

Yes. Patients with eligible conditions who meet other criteria can apply for medical marijuana cards online via the Arkansas Medical Marijuana System. While the state allows qualified patients to apply for a medical marijuana card online, patients are not allowed to obtain their written medical marijuana certifications via telemedicine.

How Do I Register With the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program?

Under the Arkansas medical marijuana program, applicants must be 18 or older, reside permanently in the state, have qualifying conditions, and possess valid medical marijuana certifications to register. Note that minors are allowed to participate in the program via their designated and approved caregivers. You can register by obtaining a written certificate for medical marijuana use from an osteopathic or medical physician and submit a registration application to the Arkansas Department of Health online or by mail.

Do I Need To Be An Arkansas Resident To Get A Medical Marijuana Card?

Yes, you must be a permanent resident of Arkansas to be issued a medical marijuana card in the state.

What Is The Cost Of An Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card?

Qualifying patients, medical marijuana caregivers, and visitors pay a $50 application fee for an Arkansas medical marijuana card. Visitors are out-of-state patients who need legal access to medical cannabis while in Arkansas. The ADH issues them visiting patient cards with 90 days validity. The application fee is non-refundable and is payable to the Arkansas Department of Health via check or money order. The ADH also accepts credit/debit card payments for online applications. However, it does not accept any card payments made with American Express. Besides a visitor's card, every other medical marijuana registry card issued in Arkansas expires after one year, and the renewal cost is $50.

What Do You Need When Visiting A Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Arkansas?

A patient visiting a medical marijuana dispensary in Arkansas must have a valid medical marijuana registry card and present it upon arrival at the dispensary. The dispensary will require the visiting patient to prove that they have been diagnosed by a licensed physician to have at least one qualifying medical condition, especially if it is a patient's first visit. In that case, the patient must produce the physician's certification. An Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary will retain a copy of the patient's medical marijuana card as the ADH advises.

Arkansas medical cannabis dispensaries run like pharmacies, with budtenders who assist consumers. Budtenders may help patients with customized recommendations based on their health conditions and prescriptions.

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana In Arkansas?

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) requires patients applying for the state's medical marijuana card to obtain a physician's certification of their debilitating medical conditions before submitting their applications. Such a physician must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Arkansas-licensed Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Have a genuine doctor-patient relationship with the qualifying patient they are certifying for medical marijuana
  • Be in good standing to practice medicine in Arkansas
  • Have a United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) controlled substances license

The ADH does not have a registry of approved doctors that certify patients for medical cannabis and does not recommend physicians for this purpose. Patients must independently find their physicians for certification. Generally, a physician certification for medical cannabis in Arkansas is only valid for 30 days from the date the physician signs the document. A patient must obtain a new one if a certification is not submitted to the ADH within 30 days of getting it.

Can A Minor Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Arkansas?

Yes, an individual who is a minor can get a medical marijuana card in Arkansas, provided they are diagnosed with any qualifying medical conditions approved for medical cannabis therapy in the state. However, they may only apply with their parent's or legal guardian's consent, who must also register as their caregiver with the state's Medical Marijuana Program. Additionally, an Arkansas-licensed physician must examine a minor patient to determine whether medical marijuana treatment is necessary.

Can You Get A Medical Marijuana Card At 18 In Arkansas?

Yes. Under the Arkansas medical marijuana program, applicants aged 18 are no longer minors. Therefore, they may get medical marijuana cards without requiring the approval of their parents, guardians, or caregivers.

How To Renew Your Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card

The renewal process of an Arkansas medical marijuana card is the same as when applying for a new one, which applies to patients and medical marijuana caregivers. However, the Arkansas Department of Health recommends initiating the renewal process at least 30 days before the current medical marijuana card expires. Cardholders can apply for renewal by mail or online.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana In Arkansas?

No. Per the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, it is unlawful for medical marijuana patients or their caregivers to grow marijuana plants at home. They can only obtain cannabis-infused products from state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Only licensed marijuana growers are permitted to cultivate marijuana in Arkansas.

Does Arkansas Allow Medical Marijuana Patients To Designate Caregivers?

Yes. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program makes provisions for caregivers. A medical marijuana caregiver is an individual designated to get medical cannabis at a licensed medical marijuana dispensary on behalf of a registered patient. They can also assist a patient in administering medical cannabis. To qualify for a medical marijuana caregiver in Arkansas, a person must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of Arkansas with evidence of residency
  • Be 21 years or older
  • Have no excluded felony offenses on their record in the last 10 years before the application date to become a caregiver
  • Their patient must be a minor or a disabled person
  • Not be a member of the United States military or the Arkansas Guard

The ADH does not assign caregivers for medical marijuana patients who need them. A person must apply to the ADH in the same manner as a patient's registration, although with a different application form (Medical Marijuana Registry Application Form), to become a medical marijuana caregiver in Arkansas. A parent or legal guardian of a minor patient can also serve as their primary caregiver, but they must apply to the ADH for a caregiver registry card.

A medical marijuana caregiver in Arkansas may serve multiple registered patients, but they must obtain a separate registry caregiver card for each patient. A caregiver with a qualifying medical condition may also register as a patient in the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Program. However, it is unlawful for a caregiver who is not a registered patient to consume medical marijuana.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Yes, Arkansas offers medical marijuana reciprocity to patients from all other states in the United States pursuant to certain conditions. Such patients must qualify to be categorized as visiting out-of-state patients. To be considered a visiting out-of-state patient, a patient must have a medical marijuana card or its equivalent from another state in the United States. In addition, the condition for which the patient was approved in the other state to use medical marijuana must also be approved under the Arkansas medical marijuana program.

Are My Medical Marijuana Records Private?

Yes. The medical marijuana patient records received and maintained by the Arkansas Department of Health are confidential and exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). They are not subject to disclosure to any person or public or private entity except as necessary for authorized employees of the ADH to perform official duties for the Arkansas medical marijuana program. However, law enforcement will be able to confirm an ID card's validity.

Also, background checks will not reveal medical marijuana records in Arkansas. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or applicants for holding medical marijuana cards. Employers are not allowed to fire employees for positive drug tests if the workers have medical marijuana cards and are not under the influence of marijuana while on the job.

Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana In Arkansas?

Health insurance does not typically cover medical marijuana costs in Arkansas.

What Is The Medical Card Limit In Arkansas?

The Arkansas medical marijuana card, valid for up to 12 months from the date of issuance, allows the cardholder to possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every 14 days.

Can You Go To A Dispensary Without A Medical Card In Arkansas?

No. Since only medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas, persons visiting licensed dispensaries in the state to purchase marijuana must provide medical marijuana cards.

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