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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska in 2023

closeup hand holding MMJ card

Table of contents

  1. Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Alaska
  2. Eligibility Requirements
  3. Qualifying Conditions
  4. How to Apply
  5. What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
  6. Costs
  7. Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
  8. Applying as a Caregiver
  9. Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
  10. Cultivation
  11. Alaska Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

While Alaska allows for both medical and recreational legal cannabis, there are many benefits to acquiring an Alaska medical marijuana card online. Tax exemptions, higher possession limits, and the health benefits of a physician-guided relationship with cannabis medicine are all motivating reasons to apply for Alaska’s medical cannabis program.

Leafwell’s medical marijuana services are coming soon in Alaska. Telehealth doctor visits are a fast and straightforward way to obtain your medical cannabis card quickly. Read on to learn everything you need to know about qualifying as a medical marijuana patient in Alaska, applying for the Alaska Medical Marijuana Registry, and legally purchasing medical marijuana.

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Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Alaska

Recreational marijuana is available in Alaska, but medical marijuana cardholders in Alaska enjoy several benefits not available to adult-use consumers. Medical patients are exempt from taxes, while recreational users pay 3-5% sales tax on their cannabis.

Medical marijuana patients and adults 21 years or older also can possess one ounce of cannabis products on their person and up to four ounces at home. Cultivation laws allow both groups to grow up to three mature cannabis plants and six plants in total.

Eligibility Requirements

Alaskan residents who suffer from one or more qualifying health conditions and are over 18 years old can apply for a medical marijuana card after obtaining a recommendation from a qualified physician.

Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Alaska?

Minors under the age of 18 require some additional documentation to obtain their medical marijuana card. The patient’s parent or guardian must provide a statement affirming that the doctor has explained the risks of benefits of marijuana.

Further, the parent or guardian must, as the minor’s primary caregiver, assume responsibility for purchasing and controlling the possession and use of marijuana. This designated caregiver must also apply through Alaska’s medical marijuana registry and acquire an ID card before being able to purchase cannabis on the child’s behalf.

Qualifying Conditions

The Alaska law lists the following medical conditions as qualifiers for an MMJ card:

How to Apply

Documents You’ll Need

To apply for an Alaska medical marijuana card, you’ll first need to assemble the following documentation:

  • An original, complete copy of the medical marijuana registry application form
  • An original, signed copy of the physician’s cannabis recommendation
  • If a minor, a statement written by a parent or guardian saying they consent to serve as caregiver and consent to the minor’s use of medical cannabis
  • An application fee of $25
  • A photocopy of a valid, Alaska-issued ID or driver’s license

It’s not required to bring your medical records to your consultation, but it can help your physician make a more accurate and thorough assessment.

Steps to Apply

  1. Attend a consultation with any registered Alaska physician to determine whether your condition qualifies for medical use.
  2. Once approved, receive the original copy of your certificate from your physician via mail.
  3. Send the completed application form, fee, and original certificate to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
  4. Upon your application’s review, you’ll either be approved or denied. You’ll receive your physical card in the mail following approval.

What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment

At this time, Leafwell does not offer our telemedicine services in Alaska. Keep an eye out as we constantly expand our services to new states and territories.

Costs

In Alaska, a medical marijuana ID card costs $25, and a renewal ID card costs $20, paid by check or money order to Alaska’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. These fees are non-refundable.

The physician’s visit to obtain an Alaska medical cannabis recommendation can cost anywhere between $100-250. Most insurance policies do not cover doctor’s visits regarding medical marijuana.

Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Alaska does not accept out-of-state cards, but out-of-state patients may purchase adult-use cannabis. These purchases may be subject to a 3-5% sales tax.

Several other states, however, practice reciprocity and will recognize an Alaska medical marijuana card. The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas *
  • California ^
  • Colorado ^
  • Connecticut ^
  • Hawaii *
  • Illinois ^
  • Maine
  • Maryland ^ (as of July 2023)
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan (qualifying state must also have reciprocity with Michigan)
  • Missouri ^
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey *
  • New Mexico * (recreational cannabis is legal in NM)
  • New York ^
  • Oklahoma *
  • Oregon ^
  • Pennsylvania (minors only)
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. Virgin Islands *
  • Utah (a maximum of 45 days, after which the patient must apply for a Utah MMJ card)
  • Vermont ^
  • Virginia ^
  • Washington ^
  • Washington D.C.

States marked with * require visitors to complete a visiting patient application for the duration of their stay.

States marked with ^ have adult use programs but do not accept out-of-state cards.

Applying as a Caregiver

Underage patients must — and adult patients have the option to — designate a primary caregiver to assist with the purchasing, cultivating, and using of medical cannabis. Caregivers must be at least 21 years old and cannot have received a drug-related felony conviction or currently be on parole or probation.

Caregivers must apply to the Alaska medical marijuana registry for a caregiver ID and must physically possess their ID card for legal protection. Only one caregiver can serve one patient at a time unless the patient is related to them by at least the “fourth degree of kinship.”

Similar to adult-use laws, caregivers may legally cultivate up to six marijuana plants, up to three at flower-bearing maturity.

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana

In Alaska, medical marijuana patients may acquire cannabis at any adult-use dispensary. While Alaska does not have medical marijuana-specific facilities, some businesses may be more patient-accommodating than others.

When seeking medical marijuana, it’s a good idea to talk to dispensary staff and ask plenty of questions. These trained professionals can assist you in identifying the best cannabis products for specific health conditions and address any questions or concerns.

Cultivation

Medical and adult-use consumers can legally cultivate up to six cannabis plants with a maximum of three mature plants.

Alaska Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

Both adult use and medical marijuana are legal in Alaska. Medical cannabis was first legalized in 1998, followed by recreational cannabis legalization in 2014. Both patients and adult consumers can legally cultivate cannabis at home, with six plants total and up to three capable of bearing usable product. Consumers can possess up to one ounce on their person and up to four ounces at home, and exceeding this limit can lead to fines or criminal possession charges.

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