Arizona Medical Marijuana Card

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Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Arizona?

Yes. In 1996, Arizona voters approved medical marijuana through an initiative that permitted seriously or terminally ill individuals to possess and use marijuana. However, the state later overturned this law as it conflicted with the federal law classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug. In 2010, Arizona voters again approved a modified medical marijuana initiative with the passage of Proposition 203 or the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The Act permits patients with debilitating medical conditions to possess, use, and purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana from state-licensed marijuana dispensaries.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act designated the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) as the agency responsible for drafting and implementing the state's medical marijuana program rules and regulations. The Act also outlined the criteria utilized by ADHS to determine which patients and caregivers are eligible for medical marijuana and the operational rules for registered cannabis businesses.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona

  • Book an Appointment with an Arizona-licensed Physician: Schedule either a telemedicine or in-person appointment with an approved physician in Arizona
  • Obtain a Medical Marijuana Certification: The physician evaluates your medical records and condition to confirm eligibility for medical marijuana treatment. The physician completes a certification using a state-specific form
  • Complete an Application on the AZDHS Licensing Portal

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Arizona

Individuals with approved qualifying medical conditions and doctors' certifications may be issued medical marijuana cards. Approved medical conditions that qualify patients for medical marijuana are:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Any chronic or debilitating medical condition or disease or the treatment for one that causes cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain, such as from migraines or arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, such as those associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures, including from epilepsy

Per the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, the ADHS may add more medical conditions to the current list of approved medical conditions for marijuana use.

Similarly, the Act permits an out-of-state resident who is 18 years or older, diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, and bearing their home state's medical marijuana card or its equivalent to get marijuana.

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

You can only apply for a medical marijuana card online in Arizona. The state has an online system for eligible patients who have fulfilled the required criteria to possess a medical marijuana card to apply. Also, the state allows physicians to use telemedicine to evaluate patients and issue medical marijuana certifications.

How Do I Register With the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program?

You may register with the Arizona medical marijuana program if you fulfill the conditions required under Arizona law. You must be a resident of the state and have one or more qualifying conditions, such as PTSD, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and seizures. After obtaining a medical marijuana certification from a licensed physician, you may visit the Arizona Department of Health Services licensing portal to upload the required documentation and pay the application fee to enroll in the program.

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

Yes, you must reside in any of Arizona's municipalities to obtain a medical marijuana card under the Arizona medical marijuana program.

What Is The Cost Of An Arizona Medical Marijuana Card?

A qualifying patient pays an application fee of $150 for a medical marijuana card. An individual participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may pay a reduced fee of $75 for new applications. On the other hand, a designated caregiver pays $200 for an initial application for a medical marijuana card.

It costs $150 to renew a qualifying patient's medical marijuana card and $200 to renew a designated caregiver's medical marijuana card. Note that the application fee for an Arizona medical marijuana card is non-refundable and can be made online via a credit card. It costs $10 for a qualifying patient or caregiver to replace or make changes to a medical marijuana card.

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

When visiting a medical marijuana dispensary, qualifying patients and their caregivers must have valid Arizona state identification cards and valid medical marijuana cards in their possession. Marijuana dispensaries in Arizona do not sell marijuana to individuals under 18 and can only sell up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana, of which not more than 12.5 grams are cannabis concentrates.

Who Can Prescribe Medical Marijuana In Arizona?

A patient with a qualifying medical condition must obtain a medical certification from an Arizona-licensed physician. Per state law, only a physician with a bonafide patient-physician relationship can issue a medical certification to a qualifying patient. Arizona does not maintain a database of approved physicians for its medical marijuana program. However, a physician specializing in allopathic, osteopathic, homeopathic, or naturopathic medicine may issue a medical certification to a qualifying patient.

Can A Minor Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Arizona?

Yes. A minor must meet the following requirements to get a medical marijuana card:

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

Yes. Arizona regards qualifying patients as adults when they turn 18. Such individuals can directly apply for their own medical marijuana cards without requiring the consent of their parents or guardians.

How To Renew Your Arizona Medical Marijuana Card

A medical marijuana card issued in Arizona is valid for 2 years, and a cardholder may access the renewal portal 90 days before their current medical marijuana card expires. A qualifying patient or caregiver who fails to renew their medical marijuana card before it expires must submit a new application. Arizona medical marijuana cardholders can complete their renewal applications online and follow the same steps as when applying for their cards. However, they have to submit updated copies of their documents and pay renewal fees.

Can You Grow Medical Marijuana In Arizona?

Yes. Medical marijuana patients or caregivers may grow marijuana in their homes for personal use if they live more than 25 miles from the nearest medical marijuana dispensary. However, they may only grow up to 12 marijuana plants in enclosed or locked facilities. Under the Medical Marijuana Act, a qualifying patient permitted to grow marijuana in their home cannot sell or gift such marijuana to a third party.

Arizona: Benefits Of Having A Medical Marijuana Card In A Recreational Marijuana-Legal State

The Arizona medical marijuana card allows persons named on the card to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. Per A.R.S §§ 36-2801(1),(17), usable marijuana refers to dried flowers of the marijuana plant and any mixtures or preparations thereof. The 2.5-ounce limit is higher when compared to recreational marijuana users, who are only allowed to buy up to one ounce of adult-use marijuana, except that no more than 5 grams of the 1-ounce limit may be in concentrated form.

Also, the Arizona medical marijuana card exempts marijuana buyers from the 16% excise tax placed on marijuana products; however, local sales tax may apply for medical marijuana purchases in some municipalities. Furthermore, the Arizona medical marijuana card offers specific legal protections against discriminatory practices, such as:

  • A school or landlord must not refuse to enroll or lease to a patient unless failing to do so would cause a loss of benefits under federal law
  • An employer must not discriminate against a patient in hiring, terminating, or imposing employment conditions except where failing to do so would cause the employer to lose benefits under federal law
  • An employer must not penalize a patient for a positive drug test for marijuana except in an instance where the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana use on the employment premises or during work hours

Does Arizona Allow Medical Marijuana Patients To Designate Caregivers?

A qualifying patient in Arizona's medical marijuana program may designate an individual as a designated caregiver. Per state law, a designated caregiver must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Consent to assist the qualifying patient in the medical use of marijuana
  • Not have been convicted of a felony charge

An individual may be a designated caregiver for up to five qualified patients. However, the applications for each patient must be submitted separately, and a different card will be issued for each qualifying patient the caregiver assists. In Arizona, a designated caregiver may also be a patient in the medical marijuana program, provided the individual meets the criteria for both. The designated caregiver must not be a home health aide or a professional caregiver.

Arizona Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act provides a restricted reciprocity to visiting qualifying patients. In order to be considered a visiting qualifying patient, the patient:

  • Must not be a resident of Arizona (or has resided in Arizona no more than 30 days)
  • Must have been diagnosed with a medical condition recognized under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act
  • Must possess a medical marijuana registration card or its equivalent issued pursuant to the laws of another state.

Note that the out-of-state medical marijuana card has the same effect as the Arizona medical marijuana card, except that the visiting qualifying patient is not permitted to buy medical marijuana in Arizona

Are My Medical Marijuana Records Private?

The Arizona medical marijuana law prescribes that all records and information submitted to and maintained by the state's medical marijuana program are treated with strict confidentiality and may not be disclosed under the Arizona Open Records Law.

In accordance with Section 36-2810 of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, patient information kept in the medical marijuana registry is confidential and not subject to disclosure to any individual or entity except as necessary for authorized employees of the ADHS to perform specific official duties.

Note that a law enforcement officer may obtain a search warrant for obtaining the medical marijuana records of a patient if the patient is accused of committing a marijuana crime. It is illegal for an employer to take discriminatory actions against an employee due to cardholder status or a positive test for THC presence unless the employer would lose licensing or federal funding for not taking action.

Does Insurance Cover Medical Marijuana In Arizona?

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) does not require government medical assistance programs or private health insurance businesses to reimburse costs associated with the medical use of marijuana. Hence, medical marijuana is not covered by insurance in the state.

What Is The Medical Card Limit In Arizona?

The Arizona medical marijuana card is renewable annually and allows the cardholder to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days.

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

Yes, you can visit an adult-use marijuana dispensary in Arizona to purchase cannabis if you are 21 or older. Adults of legal age are not required to present medical marijuana cards to buy weed in the state. However, they must provide active government-issued ID cards to prove they are of legal age to possess recreational marijuana in Arizona. An Arizona medical marijuana card is only required for persons registered under the Arizona medical marijuana program intending to purchase medical marijuana.

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Arizona Medical Marijuana