Arizona Medical Marijuana Evaluation Tips
In November 2010, the Arizona Proposition 203 (Arizona Medical Marijuana Act) was approved, which removed all state-level criminal penalties for the use and possession of medical marijuana. As a result, qualified patients can legally purchase cannabis under the recommendation of a licensed Arizona physician. Any Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic (DO), Homeopathic [MD(H)/DO(H)], or Naturopathic (NMD or ND) doctor who is licensed to practice in AZ, and who has a physician-patient relationship with you, may fill out the form. It cannot be from a doctor outside of AZ. The recommending doctor, however, does not have to be the same physician that made the initial diagnosis of the qualifying condition.
Before you pay a visit to a marijuana-recommending physician, make sure you understand what conditions qualify. A person diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions are afforded legal protection:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
Severe and chronic pain;
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
If you feel you qualify for a MMJ card, the first step is to get a marijuana-recommending physician to fill out and sign an official ADHS medical marijuana certification form, on your behalf. However, before the doctor will do this, he or she will conduct an evaluation. This evaluations includes a physical examination as well as asking you questions related to your condition. Following your medical evaluation, the evaluating doctor will decide whether or not you are a suitable candidate for medical marijuana treatment.
What to bring to your Medical Marijuana Evaluation?
Proof of residency. This can be a government issued ID such as an Arizona Driver’s License, Arizona ID or passport.
Medical records so that the evaluating physician can understand your medical condition and why you are applying for MMJ card. These documents can include prescriptions, x-ray/MRI results, worker’s compensation and/or disability paperwork.
These are not required as long as Dr. Bailey can confirm your diagnosis in-office with intake and physical exam.
What happens during the visit?
When you arrive for your visit, you will be asked to fill out a patient intake packet. Upon completion, the doctor will review your condition and perform any necessary tests. The doctor may ask you questions regarding your daily lifestyle, health, and any treatments you are currently taking as part of the evaluation.
As part of the evaluation, the doctor will outline a treatment plan, discuss the side effects of medical marijuana, cannabis treatment risks/benefits, and in some circumstances arrange a follow-up visit.
Once the evaluation is complete, your doctor will ask if you have any questions about the process or the benefits of medical marijuana. Take this time to ask as many questions as you like.
Tip – It is important to show the doctor that you fully understand the implications of using medical marijuana, why you are taking it and why you think it will help your condition. This is an important part of the process, so do it wisely otherwise you may not be approved.
What to do after receiving a recommendation?
Once you have the physician’s medical recommendation, the next step is to register with the Arizona Department of Health Services and proceed with the medical marijuana online application.
For patients under 18 years of age, please make sure you choose the relevant form, as there is a separate application for minors. (Also, there is a designated application for caregivers that are registering on behalf of a patient).
Tip - Before you apply, please review the Arizona Medical Marijuana Qualifying Patient Checklist, for all necessary applications material.
For further information feel free to contact the Arizona Department of Health Services:
Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
Medical Marijuana Program
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
We can help with your MMJ card
Dr. Bailey of Verde Valley Naturopathic, is a licensed marijuana-recommending naturopathic physician. Dr. Bailey can inform you about the state program and evaluate whether or not you qualify in the state of Arizona. Please contact us to start the process.