Any physician with a license to practice in Arkansas and active registration with the DEA can issue a written certification for marijuana to qualifying patients. However, the state does not require every physician to issue medical marijuana certifications.
Arkansas mandates that you have a bonafide doctor-patient relationship with the provider who recommends you for marijuana. If you believe you would benefit from cannabis, you should discuss that with your primary care provider or the specialist managing your qualifying condition.
If your provider won’t issue you a certification or doesn’t issue certifications in general, ask them for a referral to a medical marijuana doctor. Additionally, there are clinics across the state that center their practice around palliative care and medical marijuana. These clinics are staffed by physicians with a deep understanding of and belief in medical cannabis.
When selecting a provider, ask about their qualifications and make sure they are licensed to practice in Arkansas.
How to get your Arkansas medical Cannabis card
Our friendly staff will book your appointment and explain the steps you need to take to obtain an Arkansas medical marijuana card.
At your appointment, your doctor will evaluate your condition and complete the Medical Marijuana Physician Written Certification from the Arkansas Department of Health. You should print out a blank copy of this form before your appointment.
You will need to submit your physician certification, an Arkansas state ID or driver’s license, and a $50 fee. It may take between 10 to 14 days to process your application.
Once the application is approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card in the mail. With your card, you can purchase cannabis products from one of 33 dispensaries throughout Arkansas. You will need to bring your medical marijuana card and your driver’s license or other valid state ID with you.
Cannabis doctors can only issue certificates for patients with at least one of the following state-recognized qualifying conditions:
The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6) was passed on November 18, 2016 with 53% of the vote. Under this law, a patient can register for a marijuana card with the certification of a doctor and purchase cannabis from a licensed dispensary. Qualifying patients may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis from a dispensary every 14 days.Call (479) 319-2673 with any questions and to schedule your evaluation
The entire process of getting a marijuana card can be completed online. Many medical marijuana clinics offer telemedicine services, so you can obtain a copy of your certificate over the phone or internet. Your telehealth appointment will consist of the same review of your medical records and discussion about medical marijuana as a typical in-person office visit.
If your provider recommends marijuana for you, they will issue a certificate on the official Arkansas Department of Health site. You may then apply online through the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Patient Registry System. A valid email address is required to set up an online account.
Once logged in, you can complete the step-by-step application. Applicants must upload a clear photo of their identification card, upload a clear photo of the physician’s certificate (which must be on the approved Department of Health form), and pay the $50.00 application fee by credit or debit card.
Online applications are processed within 14 business days. You can print a copy of your card from your online account once your application is approved. The state will also mail you a physical card.
Your card expires one year from the issuance date or at an earlier date if your physician designates an earlier expiration. The state recommends that you begin the renewal process at least 30 days before your card expires.
Renewing by mail requires an updated patient registry application, an updated written certification from your physician, a clear photocopy of your current Arkansas driver’s license or ID, and a check or money order payable to the Arkansas Department of Health for the $50.00 renewal fee.
Renewing online requires logging into your registered account. You then upload an updated written certification from your physician, a photo of your current Arkansas driver’s license or ID, and pay the $50.00 renewal fee by credit or debit card.
Applications are processed within 14 business days, and renewed cards are mailed to patients who are approved. The renewal fee is non-refundable. If your card expires, you will lose your ability to purchase cannabis until you obtain a new card.
There are more than 30 medical marijuana dispensaries located throughout Arkansas. Medical marijuana is not usually covered by private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid because it is not an FDA-approved treatment option and remains federally banned. However, you should still verify your coverage with your provider just in case.
Arkansas dispensaries sell several types of medical cannabis. Your physician can provide advice about the proper type of product for your condition and your treatment goals.
Dispensary staff members are also trained to make recommendations based on the effects of various types of cannabis. Prices vary based on the dosage and type of product you consider. In general, you can expect to see these kinds of prices:
Arkansas took three years between passing the amendment legalizing medical marijuana and its first cannabis sale. During that time, they enacted laws to keep medical marijuana patients safe, protect communities, and hold physicians accountable. Those laws are strictly enforced.
As a resident of the state of Arkansas, the only marijuana you can legally possess is whatever you purchase from licensed dispensaries. Cardholders can purchase a maximum of 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 14 days. Your protections regarding possession and consumption of marijuana end when your card expires. After that, you’re subject to all Arkansas laws regulating cannabis possession.
Medical cannabis is only for individuals who have been certified to use it. It cannot be consumed in public places where you can reasonably expect to be seen by others. Cannabis use at schools, correctional facilities, healthcare facilities, and private residences licensed to provide child care or other social services is strictly prohibited.
Arkansas requires caregivers for patients under 18 because minors cannot legally purchase or possess marijuana. An adult patient with a disability can also designate a caregiver to purchase, possess, and administer their medical marijuana.
Caregivers must obtain their own cards by completing an application and paying a $50.00 registration fee. All caregivers must:
Members of the Arkansas National Guard and United States Military are legally barred from obtaining registry cards and cannot serve as caregivers.
Individuals applying as caregivers for disabled adults must also undergo a criminal history check and pay a $37.00 fee. Guardians of minors are exempt from the background check.
New cards and renewals for patients and caregivers are $50.00. That fee is non-refundable.
Arkansas processes completed applications and sends out cards to approved patients within 14 business days. If you apply online, you can obtain an electronic copy of your card immediately upon your approval.
Patients can purchase edibles including gummies, beverages, chocolate, and honey from licensed dispensaries.
Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO, is THC-infused CBD oil. It is legal for cardholders.
No—Missouri does not accept any out-of-state cannabis cards.
Delta 8 is a controversial topic that falls in a legal gray area. Hemp became federally legal in 2017. Companies quickly began extracting and synthesizing Delta 8 from legally cultivated hemp. However, Arkansas placed THC content restrictions on hemp-derived products, making Delta 8 illegal in Arkansas.
Regardless of its legal status, treating a medical condition with Delta 8 involves some risk because products containing Delta 8 are unregulated. That means there are no legal standards dictating their purity or chemical composition.
On the other hand, medical cannabis obtained from licensed dispensaries is highly regulated to ensure quality and patient safety.
Delta 9 is the main psychoactive component of cannabis that gives marijuana many of its medicinal effects. It is only legal for patients with MMJ cards.
Synthetic marijuana and Delta 9 sold by anyone other than a licensed dispensary is illegal for all Arkansas residents.
Arkansas passed the AR Hemp Production Act of 2021 to legalize hemp. Anyone can grow, handle, process, store, or market hemp plants, viable hemp seed, or leaf and floral materials in Arkansas by obtaining a license from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.