Over the past few years, Arkansas has taken us on a rollercoaster ride concerning its telehealth regulations. Residents of AR are well aware of the bewildering complexities that have arisen, especially for patients using medical marijuana. Fortunately, The Natural State has once again reconsidered its stance, bringing some relief by allowing MMJ cardholders to renew their cards and thereby improving access to their medical cannabis.
Renew Your Arkansas MMJ Card: Telemedicine Regulations
Cannabis access in Arkansas hasn’t always been optimal. The Arkansas Department of Health mandates that cardholders must obtain written certification from a doctor to confirm their eligibility for medical marijuana.
However, amidst the pandemic, Arkansas temporarily eased its regulations, allowing patients to acquire their MMJ cards online. During this period, digital certifications held the same validity as written ones, granting Arkansas residents the long-awaited access to cannabis they deserved. Unfortunately, this relaxation of rules didn’t persist for long.
In mid-2021, Arkansas revised its telehealth regulations, once again demanding a “written” certification and prohibiting telemedicine appointments. This change left patients who relied on telehealth platforms uncertain about their next steps and unsure if any alternatives were available.
Factors to Consider Before Renewing Your Arkansas MMJ Card
1. Expiration Date: Your present MMJ card’s expiration date should be taken into account first. It’s critical to start the renewal procedure far in advance because waiting until your card expires could result in the loss of your ability to use medicinal marijuana.
2. Eligibility Requirements: Make sure you still meet the state’s eligibility requirements before seeking to renew your MMJ card. Be mindful of any modifications to rules or specifications that may have taken place since you first received your card.
3. Telemedicine Availability: Verify whether the Arkansas MMJ card renewal services are offered by your favorite telemedicine platform. Some telemedicine systems might not be permitted for this use.
4. Required Documents: Collect all the paperwork you will need to renew your license. These could consist of a legitimate government-issued ID, evidence that you reside in Arkansas, and any records or paperwork from your doctor attesting to your ongoing need for medical marijuana therapy.
5. Medical Records Update: Make sure your medical documents are current and contain pertinent information about the continuing medical condition for which cannabis treatment is necessary.
What to know about the Arkansas MMJ Card Application
To qualify for an Arkansas medical marijuana (MMJ) card, individuals must meet two criteria: they must be 18 years old or above. They must have a diagnosed condition that is considered qualifying. These qualifying conditions consist of:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- ALS (Lou Gehrigâs disease)
- Tourette syndrome
- Alzheimerâs disease
- Crohnâs disease
- Ulcerative colitis, and severe arthritis.
Moreover, individuals may be eligible for an Arkansas MMJ card if they suffer from any other chronic or debilitating medical condition that results in one or more of the following symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, intractable pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, agitation related to Alzheimerâs disease, or multiple sclerosis. Additionally, they need to provide proof of residency within the state of Arkansas. The card can also be renewed in the future.
Getting Started With The Application Process
To obtain an Arkansas MMJ card, the first step is to visit your physician and obtain a written certification confirming that you have one of the qualifying conditions listed above. With this certification, you can initiate the application process online through the Department of Health website.
You must upload your medical records and the doctor’s certification at several points in the application. You’ll also have to pay a $50 application fee. The Department of Health will normally take 7 to 14 business days to process and accept your application after all required paperwork has been successfully uploaded online. Your ID card should arrive in the mail within 7 to 10 business days of approval.
Keep in mind that you have up to 60 days before your Arkansas MMJ card expires to renew it. However, if it expires while the renewal process is still in progress, you can be charged additional fees or face penalties.
ARâs Decision to Allow Telemedicine Renewals
Recently, there has been a new development in Arkansas regarding telemedicine for existing patients. The state now permits the use of telemedicine services for medical marijuana patients who have already established themselves as such, specifically during the pandemic.
It is important to note that obtaining a medical card in Arkansas cannot be done online if you haven’t already gotten one. However, existing Arkansas medical marijuana patients whose cards are about to expire can now conveniently renew their cards online.
This is excellent news for current cardholders in Arkansas as they can effortlessly renew their cards using telemedicine platforms which handle the complex aspects.
Unfortunately, these decisions make it more challenging for new patients to access cannabis. If you live far from a cannabis doctor or face accessibility issues, obtaining your certification becomes more than just a simple task; it becomes a whole day’s affair. We can only hope that these regulations will change in the future, allowing residents from all corners of the state to have access to reputable medical cannabis physicians.
Renewing your Arkansas MMJ card is a vital step in continuing your medical cannabis treatment. By adhering to the guidelines provided in this article and choosing a reputable telemedicine platform, you can navigate the renewal process with ease.