How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Arizona

 Dried flower being dispensed to a medical marijuana patient

Arizona launched a comprehensive medical marijuana program in 2010. In 2013, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors allowing qualified patients to reap the benefits of medical cannabis. If you’re ready to experience medical marijuana for yourself, why not get started right now?

There’s a list of requirements you’ll need to meet before you’re issued an Arizona medical marijuana card. It’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the state rules before you start checking them off.

First and foremost you’ll need to be examined by a doctor who can diagnose you with one of Arizona’s qualifying medical conditions. Another medical requirement is showing proof that you’ve been treated for this condition within the past 12 months.

Applications for medical marijuana cards are accepted online through the Arizona Department of Health (AZDHS). You can also apply for your medical marijuana card via an Arizona certification center.

Qualifying Medical Conditions For Medical Marijuana In Arizona

Below is the official list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis patients in Arizona as of September 2019:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • 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
    • Severe and chronic pain
    • Severe nausea
    • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Medical Marijuana Doctors

If you think you meet any of the above medical conditions, you’ll need to get a medical marijuana certification from a doctor or from a medical marijuana certification center in the state. Your doctor can assist by completing your application online.

The types of physicians the state of Arizona accepts for medical marijuana diagnoses and certification are:

  • Allopathic - MD
  • Osteopathic - DO
  • Homeopathic - MD (H) or DO(H)
  • Naturopathic - NMD or ND

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your personal doctors about medical cannabis, or if you’ve found them unsupportive - you can take your medical records to one of the many medical marijuana certification clinics throughout the state. There, you’ll be examined by an approved in-house doctor for your certification.

Your medical records are your property so you don’t need to tell your doctor why you are requesting them. The law states that the records need to be provided to you within 30 days of your request.

Other Requirements Needed To Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Once you have your medical records, you’ll also need:

  • An Arizona photo ID issued after 1996
  • A Mastercard or Visa debit, credit, or prepaid card. This is for the Arizona Department of Health state application fee of $150.
  • A digital photograph of yourself. This must be no more than 60 days old and two inches by two inches, or minimum 600×600 pixels, maximum 1200×1200 pixels; it has to be in “passport photo” style, face-fronting with no hats or headgear, with a plain white background. Your application will be rejected if your photo doesn’t meet these criteria.

What Does It Cost To Get Your Medical Marijuana Card?

The AZDHS charges a state fee of $150 for each medical marijuana card. If you’re a medical marijuana patient receiving food stamps, the fee is $75. Arizona doctors doing the certification will charge anywhere from $50 - $300 for their application fee. If you need to meet with a certification center physician the fee may be higher. The total a medical marijuana patient would pay for their certification can range from $200 - $300, which is good for two years.

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Medical Marijuana Card?

The process of getting your medical marijuana card in Arizona is fast compared to many other states. Typically, you’ll receive your card in the mail within five to seven business days of submitting the necessary records and payments. You can’t purchase cannabis from a medical marijuana dispensary or caregiver until you’ve received your card in the mail.

How Long Is Your Medical Marijuana Card Valid?

As of August 2019, medical marijuana cards in Arizona are valid for two years. News Alert: By the end of 2019, medical marijuana cards previously printed and mailed to you by ADHS will likely be replaced by electronic IDs. Keep on the lookout for updates.

If you need additional information about Arizona laws concerning medical marijuana cards, visit Nature’s Medicines. We have a medical marijuana dispensary in Phoenix and a medical marijuana dispensary in Glendale.