While Arizona voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November 2020, the state’s medical cannabis program will continue to serve qualifying patients by ensuring access to safe, lab-tested cannabis products.
To use the program, AZ residents must show that they have a qualifying condition and complete an application.
Here’s what you should know about how to become a medical cannabis patient in AZ.
How to Become a Medical Cannabis Patient in AZ: Qualifying Conditions
In order to become a medical cannabis patient in Arizona, you must have one of the following qualifying conditions:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain (arthritis, migraines, etc)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those from epilepsy
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis
Finding a Licensed Health Professional
If you’ve determined that you suffer from one or more of the qualifying conditions, the next step is to obtain a medical certification from a care provider licensed to recommend cannabis medicine in Arizona. Approved types of clinicians include allopathic (MD), osteopathic (DO), homeopathic [MD(H)/DO(H)], or naturopathic (NMD or ND) doctors licensed to practice in Arizona
This person could be your current doctor, but if your current doctor doesn’t support the use of medical cannabis, you still have options. Although Arizona doesn’t provide a list, there are a number of state-certified physicians able to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for medical cannabis.
Be prepared to bring your medical records with you if you’re seeing a new doctor; you’ll want to share details of your medical history to help him or her offer you a certification. Most cannabis-certified doctors will fill out your Arizona DHS medical certification form on your behalf. For an additional fee, some will submit all the necessary paperwork to the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. Otherwise, you can proceed to the next step!
How to Become a Medical Cannabis Patient in AZ: The Application Process
Once you’ve visited a care provider to affirm that you suffer from a qualifying condition, you’ll need to gather the appropriate documents to submit to the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. These include:
- A current photograph of the patient, taken no more than 60 calendar days before the submission of the application (your cannabis-certified doctor will usually take this photo)
- A copy of your Arizona driver’s license issued on or after October 1, 1996 OR
- Arizona identification card issued on or after October 1, 1996 OR
- Arizona registry identification card OR
- Photograph page in the patient’s U.S. passport OR
- An Arizona driver’s license or identification card issued before October 1, 1996 AND one of the following:
- Birth certificate verifying U.S. citizenship
- U.S. Certificate of Naturalization
- U.S. Certificate of Citizenship
- SNAP documentation (if applicable): A copy of an eligibility notice or an electronic benefits transfer card demonstrating current participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- A valid and current Visa or MasterCard for payment. Credit cards, debit cards or pre-paid cards are accepted
In addition, you’ll need a signed Medical cannabis Patient Attestation and the Arizona DHS medical certification form we referenced earlier.
Once you’ve gathered all these documents, you’ll submit them to the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. There is an application fee of $150 ($75 for eligible SNAP participants).
Once your application is turned in and processed, you can expect to receive your Arizona Medical cannabis Card within ten business days.
Registering a Caregiver and Renewing Your Card
If you need help getting your medical cannabis, Arizona allows you to designate a Primary Caregiver to help you pick up your medications. They’ll have to fill out an application similar to yours, including all the supporting documents.
Be sure you renew your card on time. Patient and caregiver cards expire every two years. Use the state’s renewal form once there are 90 days or fewer left on your current card.You can find more information on how to become a medical cannabis patient in AZ on the state’s Patient Checklist.
Once you have a card, you can stop by your nearest Green Goods location. Just be sure to bring both your state-issued ID and your new medical card with you.