Arkansas legalized marijuana in 2016, and dispensaries that supply marijuana and marijuana related products to users were set up in 2019. The demand and sales of marijuana have seen an increase despite the negative economic impacts of Covid-19.
Arkansas patients spent around $240 million on marijuana in the year 2020 alone, and reports show that they spend over $650,000 a day on marijuana purchases. However, users must hold an Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card to possess or use medical marijuana in the State.
Who is Eligible to Apply for a Card?
Arkansas patients who are diagnosed with “debilitating medical conditions” are eligible to apply for marijuana cards. These are conditions that interfere with a person’s daily functioning. The State recognizes the following ailments:
- Crohn’s disease
- Chronic or Intractable pain
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Muscular Disorders
- Anxiety and other Stress-Related Disorders
Other ailments that cause chronic distress to patients and affect the quality of their daily functioning are also covered. Parents or legal custodians can apply for the card in the name of the minor. The scrutiny and security check procedures for minors are exhaustive. The Department ensures it takes all necessary precautions to avoid the allotment of cards to ineligible residents. The patient must be an Arkansas resident.
Get a Written Recommendation
Before submitting your application to the Arkansas Department of Health, you must book an appointment with a licensed medical professional who can give you a written recommendation. The professional may be a medical doctor, nurse, osteopathic doctor, dentist, or any other approved medical professional. Your physician will ask you questions and analyze your medical condition based on your medical records.
If the condition you listed is a physical condition like intractable pain, the doctor will run scans and take necessary x-rays. If the condition you listed is psychological, the doctor may run a series of psychological or cognition-based tests.
Fill the Application Form
The form will include details about your condition, your name, and other personal details. You will also have to submit other documents like:
- A valid ID card issued by the Federal Government or State Government
- Residency Proof Documents like utility bills, rental agreements, or electricity bills
- The written recommendation from your physician
The web service will direct you to the payment processing page, where you will have to pay an application fee of $50. Provided you have a medical condition that requires medical marijuana use; the application procedure is easy and straightforward. The written recommendations from the physician are only valid for 30 days, so you must apply within the timeline.
Security Checks by the Department
The Department will scrutinize your application and check the validity of all the documents you submitted. If there is any discrepancy or misinformation in your application, it may be rejected. Once the necessary security checks are done, the government will issue your Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card.
Receive the Medical Marijuana Card
The card is valid for 12 months. It is recommended you renew the card 30 days before the expiry date. There are over 29 functioning dispensaries in Arkansas, and 4 more are slated to open in the future. You can buy your marijuana from the nearest dispensary. Buying from a licensed dispensary will help ensure you only consume safe marijuana products with no chemicals infused in them to lower the production cost.
Cardholders are not allowed to possess or use more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana within 14 days. The State is also planning to make marijuana more than expensive to discourage excessive consumption of the compound. Patients with severe illnesses may be able to procure more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana if the physician recommends it.
You may want to note that registered medical marijuana users are not allowed to grow their marijuana in Arkansas unless they have a “Hardship Cultivation Certificate” from the government. The certificate is hard to obtain, and the government does not typically issue it to individuals.
Approach a Professional Consultant
You can approach a professional consultancy team to speed up the application process. The consultants will connect you to licensed doctors, help you arrange the necessary documents, and help submit your application to the government. Working with a consultant can help you save time involved in obtaining the certificate.
Speak to Your Doctor
While marijuana effectively manages several chronic ailments, pain, and personality disorders, it may not be safe for everybody. If you are already on specific medication to treat your condition, consumption of marijuana may not be the right choice for you. Speak to your doctor to understand if the substance may cause any potential harm to your body or interfere with the quality of your treatment.