What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska (2024)

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How Many Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Treatment in Alaska?

Under Alaska’s medical marijuana law, nine debilitating medical conditions are currently accepted for medical marijuana treatment. These include four debilitating illnesses and five severe symptoms caused by debilitating diseases or their treatments.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Alaska 2024

The Alaska Department of Health recognizes the following debilitating medical conditions for the medical use of marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Cachexia
  • Severe pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those caused by epilepsy
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those presenting with multiple sclerosis

Does Alaska Add New Qualifying Conditions to its Medical Marijuana Program?

Section 17.37.060 of the Alaska medical cannabis law allows for the addition of new conditions to the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana use. There is no evidence that the state’s Department of Health has added new conditions since the inception of the Alaska medical cannabis program. However, the law allows the Department to accept petitions from physicians and patients to consider adding new debilitating medical conditions. The Department must sit to hear and approve or deny such petitions within 180 days of submission.

Does Alaska Allow Physicians to Recommend Medical Cannabis for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

No. Physicians can only recommend medical cannabis for conditions mentioned on the state’s list of qualifying debilitating medical conditions. Besides the four specific chronic diseases on the list, physicians may recommend medical cannabis for debilitating conditions causing, or whose treatment causes, one or more of the five signs, symptoms, and outcomes on the list of qualifying conditions.

Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in Alaska?

Yes. Alaska requires anyone applying for its medical marijuana card to obtain a statement from their physician stating clearly their medical cannabis recommendation. The certifying physician must have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the patient they are recommending. Their medical recommendation must also confirm the patient’s diagnosis and establish that they had considered alternative medications and treatments before recommending medical cannabis use.

Who Qualifies for a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

In addition to a diagnosis of at least one qualifying condition and a signed statement from their physician recommending medical cannabis use for this condition, anyone applying for a medical marijuana card in Alaska must also be:

  • A resident of the state
  • Aged 18 years or older; or if under the age of 18, provide a written consent from their parent or legal guardian to serve as a caregiver
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