The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) started accepting applications for medical marijuana registry identification cards on June 30.
These cards will allow patients or caregivers to purchase medical marijuana at a licensed dispensary. Currently, there are no licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Arkansas. Cards will be issued to qualifying patients and caregivers approximately 30 days before medical marijuana is available for legal purchase in the state, which is likely to be early next year.
Patients are strongly encouraged to use the online system, but paper forms can be requested by contacting the ADH’s medical marijuana program. The application process will include a written certification from a doctor that the patient has a qualifying condition on an official ADH form. Letters from doctors will not be accepted; only a written certification on the ADH forms can be submitted for consideration. The Physician Certification Forms will be available beginning June 23.
The application process also includes a $50 fee, a copy of a valid Arkansas driver’s license or other official Arkansas state-issued identification, and an application form. The $50 fee is non-refundable. The medical marijuana card will include the photo of the qualifying patient or caregiver. The application must be submitted directly to ADH by the patient or caregiver; applications through a third party are not considered legitimate and will not be accepted.
The cards must be renewed at least annually, so waiting until the product is available for legal purchase to issue the cards ensures the patient can use the card the maximum amount of time before it has to be renewed. Cards may be subject to a shorter renewal time if specified by the patient’s doctor. The $50 application fee must be paid every time a card is renewed. Even though ADH is accepting applications, possession of marijuana is still illegal in the state unless purchased in licensed dispensaries by cardholders.
For questions, or to request an application, you can view ADH’s website at http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/Pages/MedMarijuana.aspx