Among other uses, medical marijuana had shown efficacy in reducing the frequency of seizures in epilepsy; mitigated nausea from chemotherapy treatment; increased appetite among HIV patients; and rolled back inflammation in Crohn’s Disease sufferers. In Arizona, it is also prescribed for conditions as diverse as glaucoma, Alzheimer’s Disease, hepatitis C and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Once a patient has determined to benefit from medical marijuana and meets the eligibility requirements, he or she must consult with a physician willing to prescribe medical marijuana. This doctor will give final approval for use, and will notify the Phoenix dispensary governing body Arizona Department of Health Services, which will, in turn, issue a medical marijuana card to the patient within five business days. This card is active for one year.
Then what happens?
If a patient continues to suffer the symptoms of one of the allowed conditions, he or she must apply to renew the medical marijuana card. Because of the specific parameters surrounding the use of cannabis for clinical purposes, renewing the card is not much different from applying for one in the first place.
- A physician certification is required to confirm the continuation of the condition and the benefit of the treatment.
- A current photograph of the patient is needed for identification purposes
- A Patient Attestation Form must be signed and dated; this is the patient’s testimony of the illness and the intended effects of medical marijuana
- If the patient is receiving supplemental nutritional benefits from the government, proof of SNAP eligibility is required
- A new identification card (AZ driver’s license, U.S. passport etc) must be presented if a change in name or address has occurred
In addition to the above documentation, renewal of the card has several fees associated with it. The application to be classified as an eligible patient is $150 (or $75, if SNAP-eligible); $200 dollars for any caregiver who will be involved with the treatment; and $350 for a minor with guardian (or $275, if SNAP-eligible).
The expiration date on the current card appears on the right side. No Scottsdale medical marijuana renewal can be initiated prior to 90 days ahead of expiration. Should a cardholder allow the card to lapse without renewal, then any caregivers associated with the patient will have their cards immediately canceled. Renewal applications are accessible online, but require the entry of first and last names as well as the current medical marijuana card number. Once the card is renewed, a patient can obtain medical marijuana from approved dispensaries and care givers. It is also permissible for approved patients to give Arizona medical marijuana to each other if they have their MMJ card.