Do I Qualify for medical marijuana in Arkansas
On November 8, 2016, House Bill 1026 was voted into law allowing the possession, use, and cultivation of medical cannabis by patients who have entered into the Department of Health registry. This article was written to help explain how to become a medical marijuana patient in Arkansas and then how to obtain medical cannabis.
Step 1: Know the Law and Qualifying Conditions – Who can get medical cannabis?
Residents of Arkansas can become a medical marijuana patient with the recommendation of a physician which confirms they have one of the following eighteen (18) Arkansas medical cannabis approved debilitating, severe or life-threatening medical conditions:
- Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Severe arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Intractable pain which is pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment or surgical measures for more than six (6) months
- Severe nausea
- Seizures including without limitation those characteristics of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms including without limitation those characteristics of multiple sclerosis and any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the Department of Health
Medical patients residents of Arkansas must be at least 18 years of age. The Department shall NOT issue a registry identification card to a qualifying patient under eighteen (18) unless the following conditions are met:
- The parent, guardian, or legal custodian consents in writing to the following:
- To allow the qualifying patient ‘s medical use of marijuana
- To assist the qualifying patient in the medical use of marijuana
- To control the acquisition of the marijuana, the dosage, and the frequency of the medical use of marijuana by the qualifying patient.
- The parent, guardian or legal custodian registers as a designated caregiver for the qualifying patient.
Step 2: Get a Doctor’s Recommendation – Do I need to get my doctor involved to get medical cannabis?
Yes, patients must obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from your primary care physician describing the diagnosis of the patient’s qualifying condition. Make sure you bring the records to the marijuana evaluation appointment.
The medical provider must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy licensed in the state of Arkansas, have a controlled substances license on file with the DEA, be in good standing to practice medicine in Arkansas, and have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they are certifying for medical cannabis.
The patient must obtain a signed certification from a physician stating that the patient has a qualifying condition. The patient must then apply to the DOH for a medical cannabis patient identification card.You must submit your application and your forms with your doctor’s recommendation to the DOH either online or by mail.
Applications may be completed online here.
The medical marijuana application process has been made easy as possible for individuals to complete. The application lists the requirements. Read the application carefully.
Qualifying patients may submit applications using the Department’s website, or applications may be printed from the website and mailed into the department. If requested, the department will mail or email an application to a patient.
If you choose to submit a paper application, completed applications can be mailed to:
Arkansas Department of Health
Medical Marijuana Section
4815 West Markham slot 50
Little Rock, AR 72205
Applications are generally processed in the order in which they are received.
The following are required when submitting your application:
- The completed Physician Written Certification;
- Photocopy of your Arkansas issued driver’s license or state ID (remember: name and address must match what is listed on your Arkansas driver’s license or ID);
Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Our office is closed on all published state holidays.
The Arkansas Department of Health will not be keeping a list of medical physicians who certify patients for medical marijuana.
Step 3: Finding the closest Dispensaries – Where do I get medical cannabis products?
You can only procure medical marijuana from one of the 32 access points; unfortunately, no medical cannabis dispensary will have products until late 2017, early 2018, at the earliest. Arkansas dispensaries can be found using one of these search sites once the Department issues dispensary licenses:
Qualified registered patients are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces from a dispensary every 14 days.
Step 5: Pick your Products – What types of medical cannabis products can I get in Arkansas?
The Arkansas medical marijuana program is nice and broad, which makes selection easier for patients. The available forms of medical cannabis in Arkansas are as follows:
- Flower products;
- Topical forms, including ointments, creams, gel, or
- Vaporization or nebulization form medically appropriate for the DOH; and
Arkansas Medical Cannabis Consulting
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