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As it stands, recreational marijuana is not legal in Arkansas. However, the use of medical marijuana has been legalized. In some areas of the state (Eureka Springs and Fayetteville), the enforcement of cannabis laws has been deprioritized—even if cannabis has yet to be decriminalized in Arkansas.
At present, not everyone in the state is going to qualify for a medical marijuana card. Still, a large variety of medical conditions could qualify you for your medical cannabis card, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, severe arthritis, Tourette’s syndrome, seizures (including epilepsy), severe nausea, and more.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, as the department has approved many other health conditions for medical marijuana treatment. To complete the application, you will need to gather several documents, including:
You will then be able to complete and submit the online form. Make sure you fill out all the provided boxes and upload a photo. In addition, you will be asked questions about your military status, as current members of the National Guard and military do not qualify for a medical marijuana card. If you fail to complete your application as directed, it will be returned.
Once you have submitted the form and have successfully applied for an Arkansas medical marijuana card, you can monitor the status of your application. Typically, an application will take from 10 to 14 days to process. Once the application has been approved, you will be able to have your registry ID card shipped to you—or you can print it at home.
As long as you qualify, you can begin the process by paying a $50 application fee. Fortunately, you can conveniently complete this application online. The Arkansas Department of Health will carefully review your application to confirm that you qualify for a medical marijuana card.
Next, you will need to set up an online account, which you’ll use to apply. Then, all you need to do is register as a new user and verify your email address to activate your account.
Even if you have experience with cannabis, keeping up with the changing and developing laws can be difficult. So, it is a good idea to refresh your knowledge now and again to account for any developments.
Whether you are a new cannabis user or an experienced one, these are the most frequently asked questions regarding cannabis and medical marijuana in Arkansas.
As of July 2021, cannabis is not entirely legal in Arkansas. At this time, medical marijuana is the only legal cannabis option for Arkansas residents, assuming that they qualify.
Although the repercussions related to unlawful possession of marijuana exist in Arkansas, certain areas of the state have deprioritized these crimes. Still, even the possession of small quantities (less than four ounces) of cannabis is a misdemeanor in the state. In addition, felony charges, hefty fines, and prison time are possible under Arkansas law.
However, this isn’t to say that recreational cannabis hasn’t been considered in Arkansas. In 2020, a pair of ballot initiatives sought to legalize recreational marijuana. These initiatives were filed with the Arkansas secretary of state the year prior. However, the initiatives were unable to gather enough signatures.
A standard Arkansas registry ID card is valid for one year from the date it is issued. At that point, you will have to renew the card, which comes with a fee of $50. This is the same price you will pay the first time you submit your application.
From the day you submit your application for a medical marijuana card, the process takes an average of 10 to 14 days.
As is standard in locations where medical marijuana is legalized, in this state, you must be at least 18 years old to receive your card without parental consent. However, caregiver cards are also an option whenever minors need medical marijuana. This way, the child’s caregiver or parent will be able to legally make the cannabis purchase in their place.
No, you will not need to create a new portal account. Each time you renew your medical marijuana card in Arkansas, you will use the same account.
In an official capacity, no, your possession of a medical marijuana registry ID card will not be visible during a background check. As long as you live in the United States, all your health care-related information will be protected under the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If you have a medical marijuana card, it is confidential medically related personal information.
However, it is worth noting that an employer can still find out about your medical marijuana registry ID card through other means. While this information will not become obvious during a standard official background check, some employers go to greater lengths to learn more about employees and prospective employees. As such, alternative background check services are sometimes used, and this may make it possible for your employer to discover your medical marijuana registry ID card.
No, your ownership of a medical marijuana registry identification card will not show up on a standard federal background check. However, federal background checks do account for an individual’s criminal record. As such, if you were ever convicted of possession of marijuana (that you had no legal reason to have), a federal background check will be able to uncover this information.
Generally speaking, no, an employee cannot be penalized or fired due to their medical marijuana card. If a drug test reveals this information to an employer, that alone is not enough to have an employee fired. However, keep in mind that an employer can still penalize or fire employees for medical marijuana use if that use ever affects their performance or safety on the job.
Additionally, if you ever use or possess marijuana during work hours, it is still possible for your employer to fire you. Even if you are not currently on the clock but are on the premises of your work—use, possession, or impairment as a result of medical marijuana is still punishable.
In the vast majority of cases, owning a medical marijuana registry identification card will disqualify an individual from legally owning a firearm, including ammunition. The only exception to this law occurs in the rare scenario where someone possesses a medical marijuana card but is not currently using marijuana. In this instance, the individual will be able to lawfully own a firearm and ammunition in Arkansas (as well as federally).
Home cultivation of cannabis is not presently permitted in the state. Individuals with medical marijuana cards must acquire medical cannabis through state-approved dispensaries.
No, it is not legal for medical marijuana to be used on a recreational basis; it must be used as prescribed by a physician. Medical marijuana can only be legally used by patients with a qualifying medical condition or diagnosis currently under a doctor’s care and supervision.
Also, in general, recreational marijuana is not legal in Arkansas. Although in recent years, initiatives have been created to change this and legalize recreational use.
Since medical marijuana was legalized in Arkansas in 2016, it has been acceptable for patients to receive a maximum of 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis flowers every two weeks. As such, there is a monthly cap of 5 ounces of medical cannabis flowers.
Yes, the Arkansas Department of Health follows a set of testing regulations for medical cannabis. These particular testing standards were introduced into state law in 2017, one year after Arkansas legalized medical marijuana for sale and possession. Still, the state’s first official cannabis testing lab wasn’t opened until March 2019.
Testing labs must adhere to ISO standards, including testing products for potency, pesticides, moisture content, solvents, heavy metals, and microbial contaminants. Whenever medical marijuana fails to pass any of these standards, it is either destroyed or sterilized. In addition, all cannabis products must meet state standards before distribution.
A variety of medical marijuana strains are sold in Arkansas, including Commerce City Kush, OG Kush, and Burkle. In addition, patients can choose from various indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, each with varying THC and CBD levels.
While this isn’t always the case, in some instances, you could try talking to a patient assistant at the dispensary. Sometimes, they will be able to direct their cultivation team to grow the strain you need.
In Arkansas, public use of medical marijuana is not permitted. All cannabis use must be restricted to a qualifying individual’s residence.
Try to check your allotment history regularly. This way, you will be able to quickly spot and correct any errors before too much time has passed following your transaction. While the Arkansas Department of Health is unable to correct or address errors in your transactions, your dispensary will be able to make alterations within a reasonable time.
No, driving after consuming medical marijuana is considered driving under the influence in Arkansas.