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Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Arkansas?

Jun, 2022
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Are you an old medical marijuana patient who just moved to Arkansas? Or are you a resident of Arkansas looking to try out marijuana for your medical conditions? Regardless, you’re probably wondering, is medical marijuana legal in Arkansas? 

Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Arkansas

To cut to the chase, yes, medical marijuana is legal in Arkansas. But, how did this come about?

The legality of marijuana has always had a lot to do with Acts, ballots, and votes, and it’s no different in the Wonder State. In 2012, voters voted against The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act (Issue 5) by a 51.4% to 48.6% split. 

Medical marijuana became legal in Arkansas via a ballot initiative on November 8, 2016, when voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6) with 53% of the vote. Issue 6, as an amendment to Issue 5, established a system for cultivating, buying, and distributing medical marijuana. 

It also provided legal protection for patients and caregivers and created the Medical Marijuana Commission to regulate marijuana cultivation and distribution. 

As of June 2022, there are 83,011 active medical marijuana cards in Arkansas, according to the Department of Health numbers.  

Qualifications for Medical Marijuanas in Arkansas

To qualify for medical marijuana in Arkansas, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Be 18 years or older or a minor with parental consent.
  • Get a diagnosis for a qualifying condition.
  • Get a written certification from a qualified physician.
  • Be an Arkansas resident with proof of residency; this includes Arkansas Driver’s License or a State-issued ID card.
  • Arkansas medical marijuana laws prohibit Members of the Arkansas National Guard and the United States Military from applying.

Qualifying Conditions for Arkansas Medical Marijuana

Meeting the requirements we mentioned above is only the first part of eligibility. 

You can only apply for a medical marijuanas card in Arkansas if you meet those requirements and have any of the following qualifying medical conditions:

If you suffer from a medical condition that’s not on the list and want to apply for medical marijuana, you can petition the Department of Health for consideration

The department will conduct a hearing and approve or deny your petition within 120 days of submission. For information, click here. 

Note that having a qualifying condition does not automatically permit you to buy medical marijuana in Arkansas; you still have to get a medical marijuana card. 

How to Get Your Medical Marijuanas Card in Arkansas

With all the requirements and steps you must go through, getting your Arkansas medical marijuana card may seem daunting at first, but we’ll break it all down so you can understand it easily.  

Step 1: Physician Appointment

Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Arkansas

Meet with a qualified physician with whom you share a bonafide relationship. During the appointment, your doctor will confirm that you have a qualifying condition and determine if you’ll benefit from medical marijuana treatment. 

If your doctor is satisfied, they will give you a written certification for medical marijuana. Note that your doctor is not obligated to certify you even if you have a qualifying condition; it is up to them to decide.  

Step 2: Complete and Submit Your Application

After getting your certification, visit the website of the Medical Marijuana Program and create an account. Complete the application, including the non-refundable $50 application fee (American Express is not accepted). 

The Arkansas Department of Health states that online applications are preferred, but if you wish to apply by mail, you can download the forms here or call 1-833-214-8619 and request that the forms be mailed to you.

To apply by mail, send your completed application to:

Arkansas Department of Health 
Medical Marijuana Section
4815 West Markham Slot 50  
Little Rock, AR 72205

Make sure you complete the form before submitting it; incomplete applications will be returned. For tips and guidance on the application process, click here

Step 3: Wait for Your Medical Marijuana Card

It’s out of your hands now; all you have to do is wait. The board will review your application, and you’ll get a response within 10-14 days. If your application is approved, your card will be mailed to you. You can also print your card on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana System. 

Your Arkansas medical marijuana card is valid for one year from the date of issue or the amount of time designated by the physician. The Arkansas Department of Health recommends that patients renew their cards 30 days before expiration.  

What Form of Medical Marijuana is Available in Arkansas?

Arkansas Marijuana laws state that “stalks, seeds, roots, dried leaves, flowers, oils, vapors, waxes and other portions of the marijuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof” are legal. 

However, marijuana-infused food and drink cannot contain more than 10mg of THC per portion. 

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Laws

As we said, even though medical marijuana is legal, you can still commit marijuana offenses if you don’t know proper cannabis laws. Hence, we’ve discussed them below. 

Where Can Marijuana Be Consumed?

Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Arkansas

Marijuana is not donut or french fries that you can chew anywhere you like.

As a result of the many debates, consuming it in certain places are highly prohibited and could get you in serious trouble. 

According to Arkansas medical marijuanas laws, you can’t consume marijuana in the following places:

  • A school bus
  • A correctional facility
  • A preschool or primary or secondary school
  • Any motor vehicle
  • A private residence used to provide private child care or similar social service
  • A public place where members of the public can see you using marijuana. Public space includes building owned or leased by the state or local government. 
  • A health care facility or any place where smoking is forbidden, according to the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006.

In addition to those above, you can’t use marijuana close to a pregnant woman or minors under 14. The best place to use marijuana is in a private residence. 

Still, if the residence is used to provide licensed child care, foster care, or other similar social services, marijuana use is forbidden. Also, if you’re a patient under 21, the state doesn’t allow you to smoke medical marijuana.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is a DUI offense. The law says you can’t “operate, navigate, or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, aircraft, motorized watercraft, or any vehicle drawn by power other than muscle power while under the influence of marijuana.”

While you’re allowed to consume marijuana in your private residence, your landlord is entitled to ban cannabis smoking on the property. However, they can’t ban other modes of consumption that don’t involve smoking. 

Does Arkansas Have Reciprocity?

What if you’re not an Arkansas resident? Well, if you’re from another state, you can register as a visiting patient and buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries. However, your state must certify you as a medical marijuana patient in another before you can register as a visiting patient in Arkansas. 

The application costs a non-refundable fee of $50, and if approved, it is valid for 90 days. You’ll have to apply again if you want to purchase medical marijuana after the 90-day validity period.  

Possession Limits

You meet all the requirements and now have your Arkansas MMJ card. You also know that you can’t just use it anywhere, but does that mean you can carry a ton of it about? No. 

Patients and caregivers can obtain 2.5 ounces or 70.87 grams of marijuana from a licensed dispensary every 14 days.  

Who Can Write a Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in Arkansas? 

Only physicians who fulfill the following conditions can certify patients for medical marijuana:

  • A doctor of osteopathy or medicine licensed in Arkansas
  • Have a controlled substances license on file with the DEA
  • In good standing to practice medicine in Arkansas
  • Have a bona side physician-patient relationship with the patient

Your physician certification is valid for 30 days. If you fail to submit your certification to the Arkansas Department of Health along with your completed application within 30 days, it expires, and you will have to get another one.  

Can I Grow Marijuanas in Arkansas?

Even if your Arkansas medical marijuana card status is valid, you can’t grow marijuana in Arkansas. You can only purchase marijuana or marijuana-infused products from licensed dispensaries. 

Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Arkansas

If officials catch you growing cannabis, they will charge you with simple possession or possession with intent to deliver, depending on how much cannabis you grew. Best to stick with the dispensaries. 

LEARN MORE: Is Home Cultivation Allowed in Arkansas?

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Your Arkansas medical marijuana card does not permit you to buy medical marijuana anywhere you like. You must make your purchases from a licensed dispensary to be protected under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act. 

Also, you’ll need to show your medical marijuana card at the dispensary when you make a purchase. By the way, licensed caregivers can buy medical marijuana on behalf of their patients. 

Arkansas has 38 licensed dispensaries, and 36 are in operation. You can find an Arkansas dispensary list here. Many dispensaries offer delivery and curbside pick-up options in addition to in-store sales. 

Arkansas Department of Health Medical Marijuanas 

Someone has to be in charge of all of these, right? Yes, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) regulates the medical marijuana patient registry in Arkansas. The ADH is in charge of patient applications and issuing of medical marijuana cards to patients and caregivers.

Elevate Holistics: Access to Medical Marijuana in Arkansas Without Hassles

The medical marijuana card application process may sound like a lot of work, but with Elevate Holistics, it’s seamless. We prioritize your convenience, so we’ve made it possible to get your certification from the comfort of your home using our online appointments.

With our telemedicine platform, we offer secure online appointments with qualified Arkansas medical marijuana doctors. You can even check out our cannabis FAQs to learn more. 

Our services don’t stop there. We can help you locate licensed dispensaries and answer all your canna-related questions. Click the button below to get started.