If you’re reading this, then you probably already know that in order to buy medical marijuana in Arizona, you need to have a valid MMJ card. While the generalized process is really no more complex than getting a recommendation from a state-licensed healthcare provider, there are a few potential roadblocks that you ought to be aware of before planning to start your application.
In this comprehensive step-by-step guide, we’ve mapped out the exact process you need to know if you want to apply for a medical marijuana card in Arizona. You’ll also find updated answers to some of the state’s most frequently-asked questions, as well as a host of general information on all things marijuana-related in the state of Arizona.
First Things First: Understanding Marijuana Laws in Arizona
Before we explain the practical steps on how to obtain an Arizona medical marijuana card, it’s important to understand the current situation in Arizona in regards to medical marijuana laws.
Truth be told, Arizona probably isn’t the easiest state to obtain medical cannabis – but it is far from the hardest. On November 2, 2010, the state took a giant leap and approved Arizona Proposition 203 (aka the “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act“), which removed all state-level criminal penalties for the use and possession of medical marijuana.
The Proposition also implemented a registration and renewal process governed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which allows qualified patients to legally purchase cannabis under the recommendation of a physician that is licensed in the state.
Without further ado, here is the complete step-by-step process for how to get a medical marijuana card in Arizona, include what you need to do before visiting an approved doctor:
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona: A Step-by-Step Guide
#Step 1. Send Your Medical Records and Meet With an Arizona Healthcare Provider
The first step to applying for a medical marijuana card in Arizona is to have a physician fill out and sign an official ADHS medical marijuana certification form on your behalf. Any Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic (DO), Homeopathic [MD(H)/DO(H)], or Naturopathic (NMD or ND) doctor who is licensed to practice in Arizona – and who has a “physician-patient relationship” with you – may fill out the form. It cannot be from a doctor outside of AZ.
Also, unlike in other states, Arizona does not provide a list of marijuana-recommending physicians; you must consult with a recommending physician on your own behalf, or on the behalf of your caregiver. The recommending physician, however, does not have to be the same physician that made the initial diagnosis of the qualifying condition (see below for the full list of qualifying conditions).
if your general practitioner doctor is not willing to recommend medical marijuana on your behalf, you will have to find another doctor in the state who is (there are many cannabis-specific clinics and doctor’s offices throughout the state).
Of course, you must send over your complete medical records and medical history to the recommending doctor’s office prior to your initial consultation. By law, a doctor’s office must release a patient’s complete medical history within 30 days of their request.
Additionally, in order to get a Medical Marijuana Card in the state of Arizona, you MUST be a resident of the state. You will need to provide proof of residency, for example with an Arizona ID, passport, or other photo ID that shows proof of residency (such as a bank statement, utility bill, etc).
#Step 2. Complete the Online Application
Once you have obtained the official signed ADHS medical marijuana form from a licensed doctor, you will need to gather the additional documents that you will need in order to complete the online ADHS application.
These documents include:
- A photo ID: This can be ONE of the following: a valid AZ driver’s license, an AZ identification card, an AZ registry identification card, or a U.S. passport. (*Please note if the driver’s license/identification card is dated before October 1, 1996, it will need to be accompanied by ONE of the following: a birth certificate that verifies U.S. citizenship, a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, or a U.S. Certificate of Citizenship
- A current photograph that is separate from your official photo ID:This must be taken no more than 60 calendar days before the submission of the application, and must be 2” x 2” in size and taken in natural color with a plain white or off-white background, and a front view of the individual’s full face (no hats, headgear etc that obscures the hair or hairline)
- A completed and signed patient Attestation Form
- SNAP documentation(this only applies to applicants with an electronic benefits transfer card that demonstrates current participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
*Remember, all of these documents must be accompanied by the physician recommendation form. Also, each document must be scanned and uploaded. PDF format for online submission — hand delivered applications are not accepted. If you have problems or are not tech-savvy, it would be best to consult with a local office supply store like Staples, Office Depot, etc.
#Step 3. Submit Your Application and Wait for Approval
Once the physician’s medical recommendation and all accompanying documents are ready, the next step is to register with the Arizona Department of Health Services and proceed with the medical marijuana online application.
*For patients under 18 years of age, please make sure you choose the relevant form, as there is a separate application for minors. (Also, there is a designated application for caregivers that are registering on behalf of a patient).
For further information, feel free to contact the Arizona Department of Health Services:
Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
Medical Marijuana Program
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
One of the good things about Arizona, compared to other states, is that they seem to have adopted the fact that we’re in the 21st century – you can easily follow up on the status of your medical card application by using their convenient online service.