How to get a medical marijuana card in Alaska

What is an Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

Patients in Alaska with a debilitating qualifying health condition can apply to have a medical marijuana card MMJ card. Per the Alaska Statute 17.37, an medical marijuana card is provided by the Alaska Medical Marijuana Registry. As a state-issued ID card, it enables patients to purchase medical marijuana products to treat specific health ailments or symptoms provided for under the law. The Marijuana Registry is under the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health. In its yearly statistics for medical marijuana card applications for 2019, the Department of Health issued 391 medical marijuana cards to patients who applied.

There are limitations to the use of medical marijuana in Alaska. The use of medical marijuana has to be by a physician recommendation. The recommendation has to state that the patient has a qualifying condition that will benefit from the use of medical marijuana. The patient then uses the recommendation to obtain the medical cannabis card from the State Department. Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) Marijuana Control Board (MCB) is also a regulatory body as it implements and runs an oversight for cannabis use.

However, some local governments in Alaska may prohibit the sale or importation for sale of any marijuana product. They may also prohibit the operation of marijuana retail stores per Title 17.38 of the Statutes and Title 3 of the Alaska Administrative Code (AAC). The Department statistics show there are just 11 communities as of 2017 that restricted marijuana sales. However, there have been fewer communities on record that have restricted marijuana sales.

Who Can Apply for an Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

Medical marijuana cards are issued to applicants with qualifying debilitating conditions that require the use of cannabis. Unlike recreational cannabis, an MMJ card is issued to minors with the consent of their parents to use cannabis for qualified debilitating health conditions. All applicants must have a physician statement to be attached to the application form. However, the Alaska Department of Health can still deny an applicant with a prior felony charge or if the application is done improperly or provides erroneous information.

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

Yes, patients under 21 are eligible to obtain an Alaska medical marijuana card. The first qualification for a minor is to have debilitating health conditions under the Alaska Statutes Section 17.37.070. Then there must be an original statement from the minor's parent, primary or alternate caregiver, or legal guardian. The document must state that the parents are giving the minor permission to consume medical marijuana. Then the application of the minor must also be accompanied by a physician statement. The parent or caregiver must be registered in the Medical Marijuana Registry to be issued an medical marijuana card to the minor.

Per Sec. 17.37.030, caregivers of a minor must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Have no record of conviction for a felony controlled substances offense.
  • The parent must list them as the primary caregiver or an alternate caregiver.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Alaska?

An applicant faces a possible denial if their condition does not qualify for an MMJ card in Alaska. To apply for a medical marijuana card, the patient must have a medical condition as provided in Section 17.37.070.:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis

The section further provides that there can be other illnesses that produce chronic or severe pain, seizures by epilepsy, muscle spasms, nausea, or cachexia, etc. It includes other medical conditions or treatment approved by the Alaska Department of Health under regulations approved by a petition submitted under AS 17.37.060. To know if they are qualified, the patient can get a diagnosis from a certified physician in Alaska and a signed statement if they are eligible.

How Do I Apply for an Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

To apply for an medical marijuana card in Alaska, the applicant must have a qualifying debilitating health condition. If they are qualified, they can download the application for a registry identification card for medical use of marijuana form. The patient may send the complete form and physician statement via mail to the Department of Health and Social Services: Division of Public Health.

How To Apply for an Medical Marijuana Card by Mail-in Alaska

Per Alaska Statute 17.37.010, a patient can apply for the use of a medical marijuana card by filling and completing the application for a registry identification card for medical use of marijuana form. A physician's statement must accompany the completed form. The physician can, however, fill the physician application in the application form as an alternative. For a valid physician statement, the statement must be issued by a physician licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in the State of Alaska. They must also belong to the Alaska State Medical Board. They may also belong to the Alaska Podiatric Medical Association charter of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

The patient may send the complete form and a nonrefundable fee of $25 or $20 (for card renewal) via mail to:

Health Analytics and Vital Records

Marijuana Registry

PO Box 110699

Juneau, AK 99811-0699

The fee is payable by a check or money order made out to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The application should also be accompanied by a legible photocopy of the Alaska state driver's license or any other valid identification card of the patient. If the applicant is a minor, the primary or alternate caregiver must complete the caregiver application for medical use of marijuana applicant form. Also, the valid ID card of the caregiver must accompany the main application. The application may use a return receipt service to ensure that the Department received the application and fees.

How does a Primary Caregiver get an Alaska MMIC?

A primary caregiver cannot apply for the medical marijuana identification card independent of the main application, which is for the patient. For clarity, a medical marijuana identification card, also known as MMIC, is the same as an Alaska medical marijuana card.

The primary caregiver application is on page two of the applicant's form. The caregiver's application must complete their application alongside the application of the patient. To be eligible for this role, the primary caregiver must be in physical possession of the caregiver registry identification card and must be:

  • 21 years or older;
  • No conviction of a felony offense in the state or another jurisdiction
  • Not under any probation or parole in the state or outside jurisdiction

When the primary caregiver's application is being signed and dated by the caregiver, there must be a witness. The witness will then sign and date the application. The primary caregiver must attach a photocopy of their Alaska driver's license or Alaska valid ID to the application form. The primary caregiver can only be a caregiver for one patient at a time. They can, however, be a primary caregiver for two or more patients. The patient must be related to the caregiver by at least the fourth degree of kinship by blood or marriage.

How long does it take to get an Alaska MMIC?

An application for a medical marijuana registry card usually takes about five weeks or 35 days for the Department of Public Health to process. If the application is successful, the applicant will receive their Alaska medical marijuana card, which is valid for a year in the mail. If the Alaska Department of Health application denies the applicant is ineligible to apply again for at least six months. Applicants must ensure all required information is included in the application. It is one of the Alaska Department of Health denial grounds not to issue an MMJ card per AS 17.37.050. However, the Department may return the application to the applicant if the application is not complete or the provided information is unverifiable. The applicant has 30 days from the return date to submit a revised application which includes all the necessary information. The Department will review the revised application submitted and then issue an Alaskan medical marijuana card or deny the application.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Alaska?

An applicant must pay a nonrefundable fee of $25 to get issued an medical marijuana card. If a card renewal is done before the current card expires, the applicant gets to pay only $20. If the cardholder renews after the expiration of the card, it will cost $25 for renewal. The state has a uniform fee since the application for the MMJ card is handled only at the State Department. The Department accepts checks or money to be made payable to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The applicant must send the appropriate fee alongside the completed form via mail.

How Do I Renew My Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

The process of renewal depends on the period the application is made. If the patient renews after the current card expires, the process will be the same as applying for a new medical marijuana card. It will cost $25 if renewing after the card has expired. It is important to note that the patient must include a unique and original signed physician's statement in the application. Also, where the applicant uses a caregiver, all necessary forms and documents must be sent with the application to avoid a denial.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Alaska?

An applicant will need to submit the following documents to get an Medical Marijuana card after application in Alaska:

  • The completed application for a registry identification card for medical use of marijuana.
  • The signed form of the physician's statement or the completed physician statement form on page 4 of the application form. The patient may send the physician statement in a letter that addresses the applicant's conditions.
  • A legible photocopy of the applicant's Alaska driver's license or Alaska identification card.
  • If the applicant is a minor, an original statement from the minor's parent or legal guardian in Alaska must be attached to permit the minor to use marijuana for medical use.
  • If the applicant uses a caregiver, the caregiver's application form must accompany the main application. The caregiver must submit a legible photocopy of the Alaska state driver's license or valid ID.
  • Application fee of $25 for the original application or a $20 fee for a timely renewal before the current card expiration.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska?

Yes, an applicant's details and other information are confidential. The medical marijuana registry and all information relating to it are personal information. Patients' and caregivers' information under the registry program are not public records per AS 09.25.100. It is also in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA).

HIPAA was enacted in 1996 as a national standard for the protection of sensitive medical details of patients. It ensures that any public or private healthcare provider cannot disseminate patients' personal information in a medical file without the patient's consent. Nobody can gain access to the names of the applicants, the physician who authorized them, and primary givers or alternative caregivers. However, qualified employees of the Department can access this information to help a criminal investigation or verify if the person is legally registered at the registry.

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What information appears on an Alaska Medical Marijuana Card?

An Alaska medical marijuana card will contain

  • Personal information of the applicant.
  • ID number
  • Information on the primary or alternate caregiver,
  • Contact details ff the registry,
  • Date of issuance,
  • The expiration date of the card.

Note that personal information will include the applicant's name, address, date of birth, and identification card number.

Can someone Track me Down through the Alaska Registry?

No, nobody can track an applicant's information on the Alaska medical marijuana registry. The public cannot access the information submitted to the registry. In the course of their official duty, only government officials can gain access while carrying out a criminal investigation. If trying to verify the validity of an applicant's MMJ card, they can use the registry information to track them.

Alaska Marijuana MMJ Card
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