CONSULTATION FEE RANGE
MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS
- ONE OUNCE OF USABLE MARIJUANA
MINIMUM AGE LIMIT
In 1975, Alaska became only the second American state to decriminalize cannabis. The Ravin v. State case of the same year ruled that an adult was allowed to possess a small amount of weed in the home for personal use. In 1982, the state decriminalized the possession of an ounce outside the home and four ounces at home. Marijuana was briefly re-criminalized in 1990, but that law was struck down in 1993.
Five years later, however, Alaska became one of the first states in the modern era to have an MMJ program. In 2014, the state legalized recreational weed, and in recent times, MMJ cardholders are finding that recreational users have almost as many marijuana privileges! However, although adults aged 21+ can now possess up to an ounce and grow a maximum of six plants at home, there are still advantages to having an Alaska medical card.
For instance, you may benefit from cheaper products. However, one of the main benefits of an Alaska medical marijuana card is that people aged 18-20 can apply for the card in the standard fashion. Minors can also get a card with the aid of a guardian. Only individuals aged 21+ can purchase recreational cannabis.
If you’re interested in getting medical marijuana in Alaska, this guide shows you how. First, however, read on to discover the penalties for the illegal purchase, sale, or cultivation of weed in AK.
Alaska Medical Marijuana Laws
If you’re 21+, buying and possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in Alaska is legal. Indeed, you can have up to (but not including) four ounces in your private residence. However, possessing more than an ounce in public is a misdemeanor, with a potential prison term of one year. Furthermore, possessing four ounces or more is a felony with a maximum jail term of five years.
Possession with intent to distribute is a misdemeanor, rising to a felony if you have one ounce or more. Also, the cultivation of 25+ plants is a felony.
Please note that public consumption of marijuana remains a violation in Alaska and carries a fine of $100. Let’s find out how to get an MMJ card in Alaska without further ado.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Alaska
Getting a Medical Marijuana Registry Card in Alaska is relatively easy, and the application fee is low, though there is also a steep consultation cost.
Step 1 – Get in Touch with an AK Healthcare Provider & Schedule a Consultation
First, you need to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Make sure you bring your medical records with you. During the consultation, the physician will ask you several questions about your condition and complete a physical examination. The goal is to determine whether you are a good candidate for medical marijuana.
In general, the appointment will last 15-20 minutes. If the doctor believes you will benefit from MMJ, they will give you a signed physician’s statement. In Alaska, you can only use a doctor that has personally examined you within the previous 16 months.
Step 2 – Fill in the Application Form
Your next step is to complete the application form. As you will see, the original signed copy of the doctor’s statement is a prerequisite. When filling in the form, you must include your name, mailing address, physical address, date of birth, and photo ID. The Medical Marijuana Registry (MMR) only accepts a state driver’s license or ID card number.
Other required information includes your doctor’s name, address, and phone number. You must also provide your caregiver’s name, address, and phone number if applicable.
Step 3 – Send Your Application to the Official AK Medical Marijuana Program
After you have finished your application, please send it to the following address:
Health Analytics and Vital Records
PO Box 110675
Juneau, AK 99811-0675
Make sure you submit everything in a single envelope.
The card is valid for a year; you must update it with all documentation, even if nothing has changed. This means you need your physician to provide a newly signed statement. By the way, the state treats your application as a new one if your card expires before you renew.
If there is a change in your name, address, caregiver, or doctor, you must notify the Department within ten days. If you no longer have an eligible medical condition, you and your caregiver must return all registry ID cards within ten days.
Step 4 – Visit a Dispensary
Once you receive your card in the mail, you’re free to visit the multitude of marijuana dispensaries in Alaska.
Who Can Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in AK?
To apply for a medical marijuana card in AK, you must be an Alaskan resident aged 18+. You must also prove that you have one of the MMJ program’s qualifying conditions.
Cost of MMJ Card in AK
The medical marijuana card cost in AK includes an application fee of $25, which is quite low compared to most other MMJ programs. The consultation cost varies, although, in Anchorage, physicians tend to charge between $200 and $250. You can expect to pay at least $50 extra if you don’t have medical records.
AK MMJ Card Qualifying Conditions
The list of AK medical marijuana card qualifying medical conditions is shorter than in most states. You must have one of the following to qualify for an MMJ card in Alaska:
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Cachexia/wasting syndrome
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Multiple sclerosis
Prospective MMJ patients can petition the state if they want to use marijuana for another medical condition.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in AK?
It takes a maximum of five weeks for the state to process the application. If your application is approved, you will receive your MMJ card in the mail within two weeks. If your application is denied, you are not allowed to apply again for at least six months.
How to Renew My Alaska Medical Card?
In Alaska, MMJ cards are valid for a year. The renewal fee is $20, but you must see a doctor and receive another certification. Please ensure you renew on time for no gap in coverage. You use the same application form as you did when originally seeking an MMJ card. However, you tick the “renewal” box instead of “initial application” on page 2.
Other Information on the AK Medical Marijuana License Process
Although the process isn’t complicated, some of our readers ask numerous questions. As a result, we have included some FAQs regarding MMJ in Alaska.
What Types of Cannabis Can I Purchase in AK?
You should find marijuana available in a variety of forms in Alaska. Licensed dispensaries sell dry flower, tinctures, oils, concentrates, patches, drinks, topicals, edibles, and more.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in AK Online
Companies such as Veriheal enable you to schedule a consultation with a licensed physician. However, in Alaska, you’re only allowed to complete an online consultation during an MMJ card renewal. Therefore, when applying for medical marijuana for the first time, you must see a physician in person.
Can I Register My Child for Medical Marijuana in AK?
Yes. Minors must submit a statement by their parent or guardian that states their physician has explained the risks and benefits of cannabis. Also, the parent or guardian must become the patient’s primary caregiver and take control of the minor’s use and possession of MMJ. There is a specific section on the application form that you must complete.
Where Can I Purchase MMJ in Alaska?
As there are few differences between recreational and medical marijuana in Alaska, you’re unlikely to find a dispensary solely dedicated to MMJ sales. However, there are around 150 dispensaries in Alaska, ensuring that the state has the highest number of licensed dispensaries per capita in the United States.
How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?
Whether you have an MMJ card or are an adult aged 21+, you can purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis. Alternatively, you can buy up to 7 grams of cannabis concentrate.
Can You Grow Marijuana in Alaska with a Medical Marijuana Card?
Adults can cultivate a maximum of six cannabis plants at home, though only three can be mature at one time. You are not allowed to have more than 12 in a dwelling with six flowering crops, regardless of how many adults live there.
However, a quirk in the state constitution suggests that the cultivation of up to 24 plants for personal use in a private residence is protected under the right to privacy. It is part of the Alaskan Constitution and came about due to the Ravin v. State case of 1975. Some companies claim to sell a special MMJ card permitting you to grow up to 24 plants. Don’t waste your cash!
Where Can I Use My MMJ?
In almost every state with legal marijuana, you can only use it in a private residence. However, in December 2018, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board approved on-site marijuana use in licensed dispensaries. Yet, it wasn’t until August 2021 that stores allowed customers to imbibe on their premises.
Cannabis Corner in Ketchikan and Good Titrations in Fairbanks opened their doors to people who wanted to get high where they buy. Both locations have onsite consumption rooms. Customers can buy and use up to one gram of marijuana in these locations or edibles with a maximum THC content of 10mg. Currently, it is illegal to consume THC concentrates, THC-infused beverages, or alcoholic drinks on these sites.
Outside these safe zones, you can receive a fine of up to $100 for public consumption on your first offense. You are also not allowed to possess MMJ on Alaska’s 54 million acres of federal land.
Does Alaska Have MMJ Reciprocity?
Out-of-state MMJ cards are currently not accepted in Alaska. However, adults aged 21+ can purchase cannabis recreationally.
What Are the Caregiver Rules?
MMJ patients are allowed to designate a caregiver who is at least 21 years of age. This individual must not have a conviction for a drug-related felony, nor can they be on parole or probation. A caregiver can only help one patient unless the patient can prove their caregiver is related to them by at least the fourth degree of kinship by blood or marriage.
When buying or possessing cannabis for a patient, the caregiver must have their registry ID card on their person.
What If I Lose My Medical Card in Alaska?
No clear-cut process is outlined in the Alaska MMJ program if a cardholder loses their card. Your best course of action is to contact the state’s Department of Health and Social Services by calling 907-465-5423.
When Did Medical Marijuana in Alaska Become Legal?
Measure 8, which led to the creation of a medical marijuana program in Alaska, passed in 1998. It allowed medical patients to use cannabis if they had a debilitating qualifying condition.
In 2014, Alaska legalized marijuana for adult use after 53.2% of voters said “yes” to Measure 2. The measure went into effect in February of the following year. It allows residents of the state aged 21+ to use marijuana.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Anchorage
If you live in Anchorage, you will likely live close to a cannabis-friendly physician. As the city contains around 40% of Alaska’s population, you should also have no problem finding a licensed dispensary nearby.
MMJ Card for Veterans in AK
Veterans must complete the standard application process, although they may receive a discount for their doctor’s consultation, depending on the company.
Final Thoughts on Getting an Alaska Medical Marijuana Card
The Alaska MMJ program is relatively small, given that recreational weed is also permitted in the state. Furthermore, medical marijuana cardholders don’t seem to benefit from larger possession or cultivation limits. However, if you want slightly cheaper weed or you’re aged 18-20, it is still worth your while applying for an MMJ card in Alaska.