Becoming a Patient in Alaska

To apply to be a legal medical marijuana patient, follow the instructions and fill out these forms. Included are forms for the patient, doctor, primary caregiver and alternate caregiver. Send in the originals of these forms, but keep copies of all your records. You also need to send a copy of your driver's license or ID card. There is a $25 fee; make a check or money order payable to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. If you are denied, or if there is anything wrong with the paperwork in your application, you cannot reapply for 6 months.

You need to update your registration every year, with all documentation, even if it hasn't changed, including a new signed physician's statement. The fee for the renewal is $20. If your card has already expired, they'll treat your application as a first-time application, not as a renewal. If there has been a change in your physician, name, address, or that of your caregiver, you must notify the Department of the change within 10 days. If you no longer have an eligible medical condition, you and your caregiver must return all registry ID cards to the Department within 24 hours of receiving the diagnosis. Your doctor needs to have personally examined you within the last 16 months.

Eligible conditions:

Qualifying conditions include: Cancer, Glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus ("HIV") or acquired immune deficiency syndrome ("AIDS"), or treatment for any of these conditions; any chronic or debilitating disease or treatment for such diseases, which produces for a specific patient, one of more of the following, and for which in the professional opinion of the patient's physician, such condition or conditions reasonably may be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana: cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures (including those that are characteristic of epilepsy), or persistent muscle spasms (including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis). The Department of Health and Social Services (the "Department") may expand this list.

Becoming a Patient as a Minor:

If you are a minor, you need a statement by your parent or guardian that your doctor has explained the risks and benefits of marijuana. Also, your parent or guardian has to be your primary caregiver and needs to control your possession and use of marijuana.

Benefits of Being a Patient:

Few legal protections are extended to patients beyond what any adult would have normally. Essentially, patients in Alaska have the benefit of shopping at medical cannabis dispensaries.

Becoming a Caregiver:

Patients may designate a primary caregiver (or alternate caregiver) to assist with acquiring, cultivating and using medical cannabis. A primary caregiver must be at least 21 years old, not currently on probation or parole, and can't have been convicted of a drug-related felony. They must apply with the registry to be a caregiver. And to be legally covered, they must be in physical possession of the caregiver registry identification card. They can only be the caregiver for one patient at a time unless the patients are related to them by at least the "fourth degree of kinship" A caregiver may legally possess six marijuana plants, only three of which may be mature enough to bear usable marijuana, plus one ounce of marijuana in usable form. Violating limits can result in being barred from the program for one year.

Out of State Patients:

Alaska's medical cannabis program does not offer reciprocity to out of state patients; however, any visiting adult over the age of 21 may purchase cannabis from adult use dispensaries.

Home Cultivation:

Any adult over the age of 21 may cultivate cannabis at home. An individual is allowed to possess up to six mature plants. While a household with more than one adult can have up to twelve plants, only six can be mature at a time. The cultivation site must not be in public view; either inside or in a secure fenced area outdoors.