Arkansas Medical Marijuana Expirations Suspended Due to COVID-19

Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary budtender serving medical cannabis

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In light of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, the Arkansas Department of Health has announced that it will be suspending medical marijuana expirations until further notice. This applies to both patient and caregiver medical marijuana cards.

Under Arkansas law, a patient’s registry identification card is valid for one year, after which time it must be renewed. While the Department of Health is still processing renewal applications, it is not imposing penalties or restricting access for patients who use their card past its expiration date.

This means that you can still use your expired card to enter dispensaries and purchase medicine. However, this only applies if your card expires during the pandemic. If it expired back in November and you never got around to renewing it, it’s still not valid.

Should You Renew Your Arkansas Medical Marijuana Card?

With the pandemic still an ever-present concern, there are some understandable reasons why you might not want to renew your card right away:

  • The cost: The annual renewal fee is $50. If you’re dealing with financial hardship as a result of the pandemic’s financial toll, you might not want to renew right away. Waiting won’t affect your ability to purchase medicine right now.
  • Exposure to the public: Though medical facilities are regarded as essential during the pandemic, most people are wisely choosing to avoid such environments if they don’t have an immediate medical emergency.

If you do want to renew but are concerned about leaving the house, there’s good news. You can actually obtain your physician’s recommendation from home.

Arkansas Is Allowing Medical Marijuana Telemedicine Evaluations

In addition to suspending expirations, the Department of Health has announced that it will be allowing telemedicine evaluations for new and existing medical marijuana patients. Under the terms of the state’s Medical Marijuana Emergency Rule, patients can now consult with a physician via online teleconference and receive their written recommendation without leaving home.

For anyone who has considered a medical marijuana card, this means that applying is easier than ever:

  • Schedule an appointment to speak with a physician. Green Health Docs makes it easy to apply for your Arkansas medical marijuana card online.
  • Submit your written certification along with your patient application, photo ID, and $50 processing fee to the Arkansas Department of Health.
  • Print your medical marijuana card, and present it whenever you visit an Arkansas dispensary.

For existing patients, this means that you can get re-certified with almost no hassle. Arkansas law does require you to see a physician every time you renew your medical marijuana card, but now the process is much easier.

During the COVID-19 emergency, new applications take about 10 to 14 days to process on average. It’s very important to ensure that you submit all required documentation, as incomplete applications aren’t accepted.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your physician evaluation, give us a call today at 1-877-242-0362 or apply on our website.

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