Today, over 70,000 patients in the state of Arkansas have an active Medical Marijuana ID Card.
Since voters approved the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment in 2016, it has been legal for adults with qualifying medical conditions to use cannabis with a prescription.
But, to stay legal, cannabis users need a registered Medical Marijuana card. Fortunately, if you need marijuana for pain or symptom relief, most people can get it legally by following the steps in this guide.
Learn how to get legitimate, safe medical marijuana in your state—fast.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas: Overview
If you’re a resident of Arkansas, getting a medical marijuana card can feel like a daunting process. When you’re dealing with pain, nausea, or other debilitating symptoms, even ostensibly “easy” tasks become a challenge.
In this guide, the process is broken down into small, simple steps. If you feel overwhelmed at any point in the process, it’s ok to take a break.
Please note that to get your own medical marijuana card, you must be at least 18 years old. You also need a valid state ID or driver’s license.
If you’re under the age of 18, your parent or legal guardian has to file for a card on your behalf. Caregivers can also apply for medical marijuana cards on behalf of elderly patients, or those with dementia.
The caregiver applicant process differs in some ways. So, that process is described in a separate heading, later in this guide.
Which Conditions Qualify You for Medical Marijuana in Arkansas?
Many medical conditions and symptoms qualify residents for relief with cannabis. Eligible conditions include:
- Neurologic and central nervous system disorders
- Chronic pain
- Autoimmune conditions
- Malnourisging conditions
- Certain psychiatric/psychological disorders
Cancer patients also qualify for medical marijuana to manage pain or deal with the effects of chemotherapy.
Medical cannabis may also be used to treat muscle spasms ad ulcerative colitis. For a complete list of qualifying conditions, check out the FAQ on the official government website of Arkansas.
How Can You Get Diagnosed With a Qualifying Condition?
You know your body best. Unfortunately, not all doctors respect patients’ physical intuition or self-awareness. Some doctors hesitate to perform diagnostic tests or diagnose patients with qualifying conditions.
Others will perform diagnostic tests, but they hesitate to prescribe marijuana or help patients register for a card.
In a review of physician opinions on marijuana, 76% of American doctors are willing to prescribe oral cannabis to patients who benefit from it.
But, the majority of doctors express concerns about their ability to accurately assess cannabis’s benefits versus the risks of potential side effects. And, about half of all physicians report being unable to answer patient questions about medical marijuana when asked.
So, to get a qualifying diagnosis or prescription, you want to find the right doctor. The right doctor has accurate, up-to-date information on marijuana’s benefits, and any potential side effects or dangerous drug interactions.
The right medical marijuana physician can advise patients on dosage, strains, and methods to combine cannabis with other therapies to maximize symptom relief.
Find the Right Doctor
The good news is, Arkansas patients can find open-minded physicians easily. One of the best ways to find knowledgeable doctors is by searching online.
When Arkansas first legalized medical marijuana, it did not allow patients to get qualifying diagnoses or prescriptions through telemedicine. But, during the Covid-19 pandemic, telehealth became a matter of public safety.
Now, physicians can legally diagnose and prescribe most medications through telemedicine.
To legally prescribe marijuana in Arkansas, physicians must be licensed to practice in the state. They also need to maintain their DEA registration. DEA registration allows physicians to legally prescribe controlled substances.
Make sure you’re connecting with a real doctor, not a “pill mill” service. Pill mills are just out to make a buck, and they treat all patients as if they are the same. Some dodgy online brands can’t even legally prescribe.
Legitimate doctors, like those at Docs of Cannabis, give thorough assessments through telehealth appointments. This lets the clinician make an accurate diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan tailored to the patient.
Receive Official Physician Written Certification Form
As your physician diagnoses you with a qualifying condition, talk with them about a certification form. Only patients with the written certification form can apply for a medical marijuana card. These forms certify that:
- Your physician completed a valid assessment
- You have a qualifying condition
- Your physician has an unrestricted license to practice in Arkansas
- Your physician’s DEA registration is up-to-date
While physicians write and sign these forms, patients submit them to the Arkansas Department of Health. You can make it easy for your physician to fill out the form by downloading it from ADH here.
If you’re seeing your physician in real life, you can print out the certification for them to fill out. If you’re in a telemedicine appointment, send your physician a copy of the form as a PDF.
The clinician can fill it out using an app, then save the completed form as a PDF. Your physician may add the completed document to your account in their patient portal.
For more on these forms, see the subheading, “7. Physician Written Confirmation.” The subheading is in the section, “How to Apply for Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card as a Patient (First Time).”
How to Apply for Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card as a Patient (First Time)
If you have a qualifying condition, you can apply for a medical marijuana card. You may apply by mail or online.
To apply by mail, call 1-833-214-8619. A representative will mail the relevant forms to you.
How to Apply Online
To apply for your medical marijuana card online, follow a few straightforward steps. If you run into any technical problems during the application process, call this support number: 501-682-4982.
Support is also available for people who struggle with reading on screens.
1. Gather All Necessary Materials
Before you begin your application, have your materials ready. You’ll need:
- A valid debit or credit card (American Express is not valid)
- A valid driver’s license or Arkansas state ID
- Personal identifying information
- Completed Physician Written Certificate form (you can also get this later)
- Social Security Number
Note that the application costs $50.
2. Create an Online Account
Go to the official website portal of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana System. Click the blue button that says, “Patient Registration.”
When prompted, fill in your full name, date of birth, and email address. Then, create a password. Click “submit.” The portal will then send you an email.
3. Confirm Registration
Go to your email inbox. You should have received an email from a no-reply email address. This will either be “ADH.MedicalMarijuana@arkansas.gov,” or “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
If you haven’t received the email, check your spam folder. Make sure to whitelist those addresses.
Once you receive the email, open it. Click the link provided to confirm your registration.
4. Start Application
The link should take you to your personal account page. Look at the page’s header. There should be two drop-down menus: “Account” and “Applications.” Click the arrow to open the “Applications” drop-down menu.
Select “Arkansas Patient Application” from the menu.
On the “Arkansas Patient Application” page, select “New Patient.” Use your ID materials to fill out the virtual form provided. Answer all questions honestly.
If you have no permanent residence, due to homelessness, check the box indicated.
5. Scan or Photograph ID
Create a virtual image of the front and back of your ID or driver’s license. You can use a scanner or a camera.
Put both the front and back images into a single image file. Save the image as one of the following file types:
6. Upload Your ID
Upload the digital file copy of your ID. Look for the box on the form with this heading: “Please upload a copy of your Arkansas ID or driver’s license.” Click the “+Upload” button.
7. Physician Written Certification
If you already have a copy of the Physician Written Certification from the doctor who diagnosed you, upload it now.
If not, save your progress. Ask your physician to fill out the form and return it to you. The ADH only accepts forms that are completed.
ADH verifies whether the signing physician’s license to practice and DEA registration are both up-to-date and unrestricted. They may also verify the doctor’s signature.
first, download these forms. The first two pages are for you, the patient, to fill out. The second two are for your physician to fill out.
8. Submit Application, Pay, Finish
Once you have uploaded all relevant documents, click “Submit” or “Next.” This takes you to a page where you can finish and pay.
Follow the directions on this page to pay the $50 fee with your credit or debit card.
Then, click “Finish.”
9. Track Application Status
You can track the approval status of your application through your Account page in the ADH portal. Approval can take up to 14 days.
Applications go through two levels of review. Once your application is approved, ADH will issue you your card.
Once ADH issues you your card, you can print out the digital version of your card. Your physical card should arrive in the mail within two weeks.
How to Apply by Mail
Applying for a medical marijuana card by mail is, in many ways, similar to applying online. But, there are a few key differences.
If you struggle to complete your mail-in application, call an ADH representative. You can reach a representative at 501-682-4982. You can also call ADH’s toll-free number, 1-833-214-8619.
1. Gather Materials
First and foremost, you’ll need to download and print out application materials. You can download all relevant forms here. If you wish, you can print them out now.
Or, you can fill the forms out with a free computer program, like Adobe Fill & Sign, then print them out after you complete them. In addition to the application forms themselves, you’ll need:
- A paper photocopy of your driver’s license or Arkansas state ID
- A $50 check or money order
- Your social security number
2. Fill Out the Application
The application will ask for your full name, address, phone number, email, SSN, and military status. Answer honestly.
If you have no current address, email, or phone number, you can indicate that on the form.
3. Get Completed Physician’s Written Certification From Your Doctor
Your doctor must fill out a physician’s written certification. A blank version is available in the PDF download in step 1.
Your doctor can fill out the form by hand and return it to you. Or, they may fill out a PDF and put the completed form in your patient account. In that case, print out the completed form.
4. Mail Completed Materials and Payment
Package all completed forms, plus the $50 check or money order, in a single envelope. Mail all completed documents to the ADH. Send materials to this address:
Arkansas Department of Health
4815 W Markham, Slot 50
Little Rock, AR 72205
Note that payment must be made with a check or money order. Cash is not an option.
ADH takes up to 14 business days to approve applications once received. If ADH rejects your application, they will return your application materials so you can revise them to be correct.
How to Apply for Medical Marijuana Card as a Caregiver (First Time)
If you are applying for a medical marijuana card on the behalf of a dependent, the process is very similar to the processes described above. But, there are a few additional hurdles.
First, make sure you meet all caregiver qualifications described on the Arkansas Department of Health website. The individual in your care must receive their medical marijuana card before you can purchase cannabis on their behalf.
Then, follow the instructions to apply for a medical marijuana card online or by mail. Use the patient’s information and ID to apply on their behalf.
If you are applying by mail, fill out the box for caregiver information on the form. If you apply online, select “caregiver” when you first create your account.
Note that if you have more than one patient you’re taking care of, you must pay $50 for each patient you’re applying for.
Ready to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Arkansas?
Getting a medical marijuana card doesn’t have to be stressful. Do it the easy way with Docs of Cannabis.
Our specialist, certified physicians can help you discover if you qualify by conducting a full assessment through telemedicine. Then, they’ll work with you to develop a customized prescription that suits your needs.
After that, it’s easy to download and print the Physician Written Certification completed by your doctor. Ready for relief? Choose your state to get started.