Arkansas is located in the south-central region of the United States. The state has diverse geography with many things to do for tourists and residents alike. Arkansas is home to the Arkansas River, which forms part of the border between Oklahoma and Texas. The Ozarks are a mountainous region in the northwest corner of the state. The state also has numerous lakes and forests. The capital city is Little Rock.
All about Cannabis history and laws in Arkansas
The medical use of Cannabis was legalized in Arkansas in the year 2016 by ballot measure. It remains illegal in Arkansas to utilize Marijuana for recreational purposes. If you are found possessing up to four ounces of Cannabis without an MMJ card in Arkansas, it is punishable with a fine of up to $2,500 and jail for up to a year. It will also result in the suspension of your driver’s license for six months.
Arkansas criminalized Marijuana in 1923 and continues with the same till now.
Possession of fewer than 110 grams of Cannabis has been treated as a Class A misdemeanour and will cost you a fine of up to $2,500 and a maximum of a year in imprisonment.
If you are already under two or more existing convictions, possession of more than 28 grams or an ounce of Cannabis is treated as a Class D felony. It can be charged with a fine of up to $6,000 and full six years of imprisonment.
Steps to get your MMJ card in Arkansas
The use of Marijuana has not been decriminalized in Arkansas. You cannot get Marijuana for recreational purposes. A medical marijuana card in Arkansas is a legal permit that allows you to purchase Marijuana from licensed dispensaries and pharmacies legally. Getting your MMJ card is crucial because, without the MMJ card, you can be penalized for the purchase or possession of Marijuana. To get your MMJ card, you need to follow the following steps :
1- Book an online appointment.
2- Go through an evaluation process with the MMJ doctor.
3- Get certified for your MMJ card.
Generally, getting the MMJ card is not that easy for people, but we have the KIF services for all your cannabis-related queries and concerns in the State of Arkansas. KIF clinics provide all the solutions at reasonable prices, from helping you get your MMJ card to the complete treatment process.
To get your Medical Cannabis Card in Arkansas, here is a detailed insight into the steps being followed:
Register Online & Submit your Application
The first step is to fill up an online application. The application is submitted to the Department of Health. Filling up the application is a simple process. It requires the essential details about you. You should carefully fill in your correct name, age, gender, medical history, and all the medical records of treatment processes that you have taken before. It is imperative to fill in the correct details when applying for your MMJ card in Arkansas because filling incorrectly will get your application rejected. The money you have submitted as a fee is non-refundable for the application process. The State authorities verify the application, and the first step is done.
An Evaluation Session with an MMJ Doctor
After successfully submitting the online application, you can book your appointment with an experienced licensed 420 doctor in Arkansas. The doctor specializes in carrying out such evaluations because of years of practice and scientific research in medical Marijuana. The doctor examines your current medical conditions and looks for the previous medications and treatments you have been through. 420 evaluation is critical because based on this, you will be finally getting your MMJ card.
The evaluation results help the doctor decide if Medical Marijuana is going to be a requirement in your treatment phase. If you are found eligible, the 420 doctors will provide you with a written recommendation, and hence you will get your MMJ card in Arkansas.
Qualifying conditions in Arkansas
When you are undergoing a 420 evaluation in Arkansas, the doctor inspects you for a qualifying condition. Medical Marijuana treatment is not applicable for all sorts of diseases and disorders. Through years of research and medical observations, the medical authorities have figured out a few medical conditions where Medical Marijuana treatment has positive effects and is mandatory for the patient. These medical conditions are classified as Qualifying conditions. The doctor investigates the medical history and verifies if the patient is under any classified qualifying conditions before certifying the patient for the medical marijuana treatment.
Here is a list of some conditions or terminal illnesses that are considered as qualifying conditions in Arkansas:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic arthritis
- Chronic muscle spasms characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- Chronic nausea
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Intractable pain not responsive to traditional drugs
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Seizures characteristic of epilepsy
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
Apart from these conditions, doctors can also add more qualifying conditions depending on the medical needs. In Arkansas, patients can file a petition to the Arkansas Department of Health to get their medical condition registered as a qualifying condition and get access to Medical Marijuana treatment. The state condition only allows the doctor to add a condition under qualifying conditions. He is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy and registered with the State of Arkansas and must also have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they have been evaluated for medical marijuana treatment.
The state of Arkansas has different payment flexibilities, which cannot afford the cost of the license. The eligible patients can choose monthly payments and are also suitable for discounts under some circumstances.
Details about the Application process in Arkansas
The online applications are submitted to the Arkansas Department of Health(ADH). Patients can fill up the application online on the ADH’s website. It includes a fee of $50 which is non-refundable, no matter if you qualify for medical marijuana treatment or not. This amount is paid both by the prospective patient and the caregiver. An additional $37 is charged to caregivers for the background check and verification process in Arkansas.
The following conditions are necessary to get your Medical Cannabis Card in Arkansas:
- The patient must be 18 years or above in order to qualify. If the patient is a minor and in need of medical marijuana treatment, he can also register for the MMJ treatment with the help of the consent of the parents. In this case, the registration of the patient along with the parents must be done and verified.
- The patient must be identified with any chronic disease or terminal illness which has been classified as a medical condition by the ADH. The patient should have at least one or more than one of those conditions in order to qualify for the MMJ treatment.
- The patient must undergo a Medical Marijuana evaluation in Arkansas. The 420 evaluation must be carried out by a registered 420 doctor. The patient must get a certification or a written recommendation from the doctor. Patients can receive their certificate online as well on their email id.
- The patient must prove that he is a resident of Arkansas State. The patient can provide any state-issued ID as residential proof. The patients can submit their driving license, voter ID, Birth Certificate, Bank Statements, or passport in order to verify that he is a resident of Arkansas.
Caregivers in Arkansas
To be eligible for the medical cannabis caregiver card, the State Department of Health has laid down some guidelines which must be followed. The Department of Health strictly monitors its regulations to ensure no misuse of the MMJ cards to purchase, transport, or possess Marijuana illegally. If you are looking forward to applying for a Medical Cannabis Caregiver card, you must be 21 years or older. You must provide care to the person you are designated as a caregiver to and not have any felony convictions.
You must also prove that you are a resident of Arkansas through any State issued ID. A fee of $37 is charged for the background check of the person applying for a caregiver. This is done to make sure that there is no criminal background associated with that person. On the other hand, legal guardians of a minor are not applicable for a criminal history check. They are only charged for the registration fee and the cost of the caregiver card.
It is a very suitable option for medical professionals like nurses to register themselves as a caregiver. This will allow them to help the patient with the complete course of the medical marijuana treatment. A caregiver is licensed to purchase, possess, and pass medical Cannabis from licensed dispensaries on behalf of the patient. The caregiver is supposed to help the patient with all the courses of treatment. A caregiver has to purchase the right to qualify for Marijuana from trusted sources that the Department of Health has authorised to sell Marijuana for medical purposes.
The caregiver must also guide the patient in the right ways to consume Marijuana. The caregiver should monitor the doses and methods of consumption to ensure that there are no undesirable or adverse effects of Cannabis. Patients and Caregivers can get the right quality of Marijuana which has been tested in laboratories before sale to be incorporated in other therapies such as chemotherapy, but this requires precise knowledge and highly professional guidance.
The parents and guardians of minors can apply for being the caregiver. They also need to register with the Department of Health. In the application submission, all the details regarding the parent who is being registered as a caregiver and the patient’s details must be submitted to the State Department of Health. The registered caregivers must also ensure that the Marijuana they purchase from licensed shops will only be provided to the registered patient. If this is violated, the medical cannabis card for a caregiver will be cancelled, and there can be a penalty for violation.
A caregiver who is 21 years or above can also hold an MMJ card in Arkansas for himself. He should be eligible and certified by a 420 doctor. Caregivers can be designated to more than one patient. In each case, there has to be a separate registration process for the patient and the caregiver.
Laws and Regulations related to Possession and Cultivation of Cannabis
Patients with a medical cannabis card in Arkansas can possess upto 2.5 ounces of Medical Marijuana every two weeks. The Marijuana must be purchased from a registered medical dispensary. The list of Medical dispensaries which provide Marijuana is registered on the ADH’s website. This regulation is strictly followed to ensure that the quality of Marijuana offered to patients for treatment purposes is kept under proper quality check before being available for sale. The other goal is to cut down unofficial sources and illegal sale of Marijuana in Arkansas.
Similarly, the caregiver can also hold upto 2.5 ounces of Marijuana for the patient they have been monitoring. The consumption of Marijuana by the caregiver is not allowed because it has been prescribed for the patient only. Nonprofit Cannabis Care centers in Arkansas are responsible for distributing Medical Marijuana.
To cultivate your Marijuana in Arkansas, you must qualify for the Hardship Cultivation Certificate. It is based on the financial need of an individual. If you are qualified for this, you can cultivate upto ten plants. In November 2016, Arkansas enacted Issue 6, with the support of 53% of the votes, and it legalized the medical use of Marijuana. The other name for Issue 6 is Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment. It provides the guidelines for the patients to grow, possesses, and purchase Marijuana for medical treatment. It remains necessary under all conditions to have your MMJ card in Arkansas to buy Marijuana from State registered pharmacies in a limited amount. Cultivation of Marijuana at home is not allowed in the state of Arkansas.
You cannot grow Marijuana in Arkansas for recreational, medical or research objectives. House Bill 1778 was endorsed in 2017 by the Arkansas State General Assembly. This later came to get modified into what is known as Act 981, which established the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act. The purpose is to develop a study program to enhance and explore hemp’s production economic and environmental effects. This helped the cultivators and growers be a part of the study program for ten years on Industrial hemp. The study focuses on finding out the economic potential related to the production of Marijuana and the environmental effects that the cultivation leads to.
Regulations on Visiting Patients
The State of Arkansas has a process for visiting patients. If you are not a resident of Arkansas, you can submit an application that allows out of state residents with a certified MMJ card to get a 30-day card to purchase Cannabis in Arkansas. The card should be valid from the point of certification, and you must carry your residential proof. The application takes around 10 to 14 days before final approval, so make sure you fill-up the application beforehand and consider the approximated time before travelling to another State. Suppose the application is not approved or is still under process, even if you have an MMJ card of your residential State. In that case, you will not be eligible to get Marijuana for Medical purposes in Arkansas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ans: You must be 21 years older or above to register for the caregiver.
Ans: Yes, by the State laws, it is allowed for a caregiver to own a Medical Cannabis Card, but you need to go through an evaluation to get your MMJ card in Arkansas.
Ans: You can possess upto 2.5 ounces of Marijuana which is approximately equal to 28 grams at a time. Keeping a higher amount will lead you to legal complications, and you can be charged with a penalty.
Ans: You can consume Marijuana in your private residence, or a rented house is also good, but in that case, you need to get approval from the house owner.