Becoming a Patient in Arkansas

Potential patients must submit a Department provided application form and a written certification from their physician that states the physician has fully assessed the patient's history and believes the patient has a certain qualifying condition. This certification must be dated within 30 days of the application. Patients must also submit a $50 fee and a photocopy of their Arkansas driver's license or state ID. More detail is available in these Rules and Regulations from the Arkansas Department of Health. Cards are valid one year from the date of issue.

Eligible conditions:

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission allows for the following conditions: cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Tourette's syndrome, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative colitis, PTSD, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, intractable pain (which has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment or surgical measures for more than six months), severe nausea, seizures, including without limitation those characteristic of epilepsy, and severe and persistent muscle spasms, including without limitation those characteristic of multiple sclerosis. The Arkansas Department of Health may approve additional conditions submitted by petition.

Becoming a Patient as a Minor:

Patients under the age of 18 must get permission to use medical cannabis from a parent or legal guardian. A minor cannot be issued a registry ID card unless a physician documents that they have explained both the benefits and the risks of medical cannabis to the minor's legal guardian. The parent or guardian must consent in writing to allow the minor to use medical cannabis, to assist the minor in the use of medical cannabis, and to control the acquisition, dosage and frequency of use by the qualifying patient.

Benefits of Being a Patient:

A landlord is prohibited from refusing to lease or otherwise penalize an individual solely because of their status as a designated caregiver or patient unless doing so would put the landlord in violation of federal law. However, a landlord may prohibit smoking on their property. An employer is prohibited from discriminating against an individual in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment based on an individual's past or present status as a caregiver or a qualifying patient. Certain "safety sensitive" positions are exempted from this protection which includes professions that require carrying a firearm, performing life threatening procedures, working with hazardous or flammable materials and others listed in Arkansas Act 593. Members of the U.S. Military or Arkansas National guard can not be patients or caregivers. Medical cannabis patients can not be discriminated against for their use of cannabis in organ transplants, nor can their status as a patient be the sole determining factor for denial of custody or visitation with a child.

Becoming a Caregiver:

Similar to patients, designated caregivers must also register with the Arkansas Department of Health for a ID card. When applying for an ID card, the caregiver must submit their own information and the information of the patient they will be assisting. The caregiver must also submit a signed statement that they will not divert cannabis to people other than their qualifying patient.

A caregiver must be above the age of 21 (unless they are a parent of a qualifying patient) and have not been convicted of certain felony offenses.

Out of State Patients:

Visiting patients with qualifying medical conditions who are not residents of Arkansas but possess a valid registration card from another state may participate in the state's medical cannabis programs and obtain their medicine from Arkansas Dispensaries. Visiting patients must certify that they have been diagnosed to have a qualifying condition and give a copy of their ID card and identification to the dispensary. A visiting patient card is only valid for 30 days once approved.

Home Cultivation:

It is illegal in the state of Arkansas for patients to cultivate cannabis at home.