How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona in 2023
Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Table of contents
While adult-use cannabis is legal in Arizona, there are many upsides to obtaining an Arizona medical marijuana card. Qualified patients can enjoy money saved on taxes, expanded possession limits, and much more.
However, while Arizona has expanded its telemedicine services in many areas, the state does not allow medical marijuana patients to obtain an MMJ card online. As such, Leafwell services cannot extend to Arizona patients at this time. If the state laws change in the future to allow for online certifications, we will open as soon as possible.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about obtaining an Arizona medical marijuana card, who qualifies for medical use, and what the law says about cannabis use and possession.
Personalized Cannabis Guidance
Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Arizona
Arizona voters approved legalizing recreational cannabis on November 3, 2020. However, there are many benefits afforded to medical marijuana patients that don’t apply to adult consumers.
Those with an Arizona medical marijuana card pay only 8-10% in product tax, while recreational users pay a minimum of 21.6% — more than double the amount. Qualifying patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable medical cannabis products. In contrast, recreational users 21 years or older may possess up to one ounce of flower or five grams of concentrate.
Regarding cultivation, recreational consumers may grow up to six mature plants per household. Medical patients may grow 12 mature plants, provided they live more than 25 miles from the nearest legalized dispensary.
Residents must be 18 years or older to apply for an Arizona medical marijuana card. They must also provide proof of residency as a part of their application package.
Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Arizona?
Minors seeking medical marijuana must designate a parent or legal guardian as a caregiver responsible for procuring medical cannabis from dispensaries on the patient’s behalf. The caregiver must be over 18 years old and apply for an MMJ card through the Arizona Department of Health Services.
According to Arizona law, the following medical conditions may qualify you for a medical marijuana card:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizures, such as those arising from epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, such as those caused by multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Severe and chronic pain
How to Apply
Documents You’ll Need
- A copy of a photo ID, such as an Arizona driver’s license or state ID card
- A current photo
- A signed Physician Certification Form
- A signed Marijuana Program Patient Attestation Form
- An application fee of $150
It’s not required to bring your medical records to your doctor’s consultation, but it can help your physician make a more accurate and thorough assessment.
Steps to Apply
- Attend a consultation in person with any registered Arizona medical marijuana doctor to determine whether your condition qualifies for medical use.
- Receive a certificate from your physician.
- Complete the online patient registry application and submit the form, the $150 application fee, and proof of ID and Arizona residency to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
- If needed, designate a caregiver who must apply separately.
- If needed, request authorization for at-home cultivation.
- Provide a valid Arizona driver’s license or state identification card.
- Upon application approval, you’ll receive your registry identification card in the mail. It can take 7-14 days to get a physical copy of your Arizona medical marijuana card.
What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
Telemedicine is not legal in Arizona for medical marijuana certification. As such, we do not currently see patients in Arizona but hope future legislation changes will allow us to open. Join our waitlist to be notified as soon as we’re open. Please note that if you do use alternative online services to obtain your recommendation, the state may revoke your medical card if they learn that an in-person consultation did not take place.
The application fee for new medical marijuana patients in Arizona is $150 and $75 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. This does not include the physician’s fee, which can cost between $100-250. Most insurance companies do not cover medical marijuana-related physician services.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Arizona cannabis laws do allow reciprocity to a limited extent. Reciprocity is available to “visiting qualifying patients.” To qualify, the patient:
- Must not be a resident of Arizona (or has resided in Arizona for less than 30 days)
- Must have been diagnosed with a medical condition recognized under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act
- Must possess a medical cannabis card or its equivalent that was issued according to the laws of another state. The out-of-state registration card has the same force and effect as a card issued in Arizona, except that the visiting qualifying patient may not purchase medical marijuana in Arizona.
Several other states, however, practice reciprocity and will recognize an Arizona medical marijuana card. The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- Alaska ^
- Arkansas *
- California ^
- Colorado ^
- Connecticut ^
- Hawaii *
- Illinois ^
- Maryland ^ (as of July 2023)
- Michigan (qualifying state must also have reciprocity with Michigan)
- Missouri ^
- 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 (max. 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
A patient must fill in caregiver information with the application form for medical marijuana. The application process is similar for caregivers as it is for patients. Once this application is received, the caregiver must submit a filled-out physician’s attestation form and their own completed application form. Arizona law requires additional ID materials for caregivers, including fingerprints, to be sent by mail to the ADHS’s office address.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
In Arizona, medical marijuana patients may acquire cannabis at any licensed dispensary. While Arizona does not have medical marijuana-specific facilities, some businesses may be more patient-accommodating than others.
Patients also enjoy access to higher potency cannabis products than recreational users, and some dispensaries provide separate lines with shorter wait times for MMJ cardholders. Finally, medical patients can have their cannabis delivered to their homes, provided they live more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.
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.
Only qualifying patients with an AZ medical marijuana card who live more than 25 miles away from a legally recognized marijuana dispensary may cultivate plants. Up to 12 cannabis plants can be grown for a qualifying individual.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Laws to Know
Both medical marijuana and adult use are legal in Arizona. For those 21 or over, possession of up to one ounce (28 g) of marijuana (with no more than five grams being marijuana concentrate) or growing up to six marijuana plants at their home (with up to 12 marijuana plants in households with two or more adult members) is now legal.
Those with an Arizona medical marijuana card pay only 8-10% in product tax and may possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable medical cannabis products.
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