Online Medical Marijuana Card and Renewal FAQ
What is the difference between medical and adult use marijuana?
Adult Use of Marijuana Program
Adult use of marijuana is an adult 21 years of age or older possessing, consuming, purchasing, processing, manufacturing by manual or mechanical means, including sieving or ice water separation but excluding chemical extraction or chemical synthesis, or transporting one ounce or less of marijuana, except that not more than five grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate. See A.R.S. § 36-2852(A)(1)
Medical Marijuana Program
“Medical use” of marijuana is defined in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 36-2801 as “… the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, administration, delivery, transfer or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the patient’s debilitating medical condition.” A “Qualifying patient”, according to A.R.S. § 36-2801(15) is a “person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.”
A “debilitating medical condition” is defined in A.R.S. § 36-2801 as:
Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions.
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
Cachexia or wasting syndrome.
Severe and chronic pain.
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy.
Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department pursuant to section 36-2801.01.
Why do I need to have a medical marijuana card?
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act says that anyone who follows the requirements can’t be penalized for the medical use of marijuana. The Act prohibits certain discriminatory practices, including:
A school or landlord can’t refuse to enroll or lease to a qualifying patient unless failing to do so would cause the school or landlord to lose benefits under federal law;
An employer can’t discriminate against a qualifying patient in hiring, terminating, or imposing employment conditions unless failing to do so would cause the employer to lose benefits under federal law; and
An employer can’t penalize a qualifying patient for a positive drug test for marijuana, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during hours of employment.
What is still prohibited under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act?
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (Act) does not:
Authorize a person to undertake any task under the influence of marijuana that constitutes negligence or professional malpractice. Authorize possessing or using medical marijuana on a school bus, on the grounds of a preschool, primary school, or high school, or in a correctional facility.
Authorize smoking marijuana on public transportation or in a public place.
Require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana.
Require an owner of private property to allow the use of marijuana on that property.
Require an employer to allow the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace.
Prevent a nursing care or other residential or inpatient healthcare facility from adopting reasonable restrictions on the provision, storage and use of marijuana by residents or patients.
Can I purchase marijuana as a qualifying patient and also Adult Use marijuana?
Yes, as long as you are 21 years old or older and do not possess more than the allowable amount.
Will there be people growing medical marijuana in my neighborhood?
Medical Marijuana Program
A qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver may cultivate medical marijuana if the qualifying patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.
A dispensary may cultivate marijuana at the dispensary or at a cultivation site, but the location of the dispensary and the cultivation site needs to be in compliance with local zoning restrictions. Anyone who grows medical marijuana must do so in an enclosed area.
How much will it cost to apply for a registry identification card or a dispensary registration certificate?
The fees are listed in rules and include:
$150 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card for a qualifying patient. Some qualifying patients may be eligible to pay $75 for initial and renewal cards if they currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
$200 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card for a designated caregiver. A caregiver must apply for a new card for every patient under their care (up to five patients).
$500 for an initial or a renewal registry identification card for a dispensary agent.
$5,000 for an initial dispensary registration certificate.
$1,000 for a renewal dispensary registration certificate.
$2,500 to change the location of a dispensary or cultivation facility.
$10 to amend, change, or replace a registry identification card.
How much is the sales tax on marijuana in Arizona?
A 16% excise tax has been placed on adult use marijuana products. (See A.R.S. § 42-5452) However, there is no excise tax on medical marijuana.
How much medical marijuana oil/concentrate can a qualifying patient possess?
Medical Marijuana Program
The AMMA limits a qualifying patient to 2.5 ounces of “usable marijuana,” which in turn is defined as dried flowers of the marijuana plant and any mixtures or preparations thereof. A.R.S. §§ 36-2801(1), (17). The Arizona Supreme Court clarified that a patient is “allowed [to possess]…mixtures or preparations made from [2.5] ounces of dried flowers.” State v. Jones, 246 Ariz. 452, 456, ¶ 15 (2019).
When can I apply for a qualifying medical marijuana card?
Qualifying patients can begin applying for registry identification cards on April 14, 2011 on the website.
How can I apply for a medical marijuana card to possess and use medical marijuana?
A qualifying patient, who has been diagnosed with one of the debilitating medical conditions will need to get a written certification from a physician (medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or homeopath licensed to practice in Arizona) with whom he/she has a physician-patient relationship. The written certification has to be on a form provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services (Department) within 90 days before submitting an application for a registry identification card. After obtaining the written certification from the physician, the qualifying patient can apply online for a registry identification card, after April 14, 2011.
What medical conditions will qualify a patient for medical marijuana?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
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;
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
What if my medical condition is not listed?
State law allows a person to request the addition of other conditions to the list of debilitating medical conditions.
Who can write a medical marijuana card certification for a patient?
Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic (DO), Homeopathic [MD(H) or DO(H)], and Naturopathic [NMD or ND] physicians who have a physician-patient relationship with the patient may write certifications for medical marijuana. The physician must hold a valid Arizona license.
Does the certification from my medical marijuana doctor need to be on a specific form?
Yes, the ADHS certification form must be filled out completely and signed and initiated by the physician providing the written certification.
What documentation do I need from the recommending physician to provide with my application?
A qualifying patient is required to submit a written certification, filled out, signed, and dated by the recommending physician, on a form provided by the Department. On the form, the physician needs to specify the patient’s debilitating medical condition and state that the patient is likely to receive therapy or comfort from marijuana for the debilitating medical condition or its symptoms.
Is a licensed physician required to write medical marijuana certifications to a patient who has a chronic or debilitating condition?
No, nothing in the statute requires a physician to write medical marijuana certifications for a patient.
How long will it take for me to receive my medical marijuana card after I submit my application?
After ADHS receives a complete application, ADHS will issue a registry identification card to the patient within 10 working days.
How long will my medical marijuana card be good for?
The registry identification card will expire two years after the date it was issued. The qualifying patient must apply for renewal at least 30 days before the expiration date. If a patient’s card must be replaced, the replacement card will have the same expiration date as the card it is replacing.
How much medical marijuana can a patient possess?
(Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies)
In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Allowable amount of marijuana”
(a) With respect to a qualifying patient, the “allowable amount of marijuana” means:
(i) Two-and-one-half ounces of usable marijuana; and
(ii) If the qualifying patient’s registry identification card states that the qualifying patient is authorized to cultivate marijuana, twelve marijuana plants contained in an enclosed, locked facility except that the plants are not required to be in an enclosed, locked facility if the plants are being transported because the qualifying patient is moving.
Can I grow my own medical marijuana in Arizona?
According to state law, a qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s caregiver may be allowed to grow marijuana only if a dispensary is not operating within twenty-five (25) miles of the qualifying patient’s home.
Can I grow medical marijuana outside in Arizona?
You can grow marijuana outside if you are authorized to cultivate marijuana and you comply with the law, growing the marijuana in an enclosed, locked facility: a closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by a cardholder.
How much medical marijuana can I buy?
The amount to be dispensed would not cause the registered qualifying patient to exceed the limit on obtaining no more than two-and-one-half ounces of marijuana during any fourteen-day period.
Where can I legally purchase medical marijuana in Arizona?
Qualifying patients can obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary, the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver, another qualifying patient, or, if authorized to cultivate, from home cultivation.
Can a qualifying patient drive while consuming/smoking medical marijuana?
No, a qualifying patient cannot drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.
What is the legal age to purchase and/or use Adult Use Marijuana?
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 36-2850(4) defines a “consumer” of adult use marijuana as “… an individual who is at least twenty-one years of age and who purchases marijuana and marijuana products.”
A.R.S. § 36-2851 subsections (4) and (5) state:
[A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 28.2]:
Does not allow an individual who is under twenty-one years of age to purchase, possess, transport or consume marijuana or marijuana products.
Does not allow the sale, transfer or provision of marijuana or marijuana products to an individual who is under twenty-one years of age.