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:
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you must be a permanent resident of Arkansas to be issued a medical marijuana card in the state.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Health insurance does not typically cover medical marijuana costs 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.
No. Since only medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas, persons visiting licensed dispensaries in the state to purchase marijuana must provide medical marijuana cards.