On November 4, 2014, Ballot Measure 2 was approved. The passing of this ballot allows patients in Alaska with certain debilitating medical conditions to legally possess, use and cultivate medical marijuana. In May 2015, the Alaska Legislature created the AK Marijuana Control Board. This board is responsible for overseeing the state-run dispensaries to ensure they are legally compliant.
The Alaska Medical Marijuana Program
The AK Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health administers the AK Medical Marijuana Program. A patient applying for a medical marijuana card must provide the department the original completed copy of the application form, driver’s license or Alaska identification card, the originally signed recommendation from the physician, and pay an application fee of $25. All patients must enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card to be legally protected.
Qualifying conditions for the AK Medical Marijuana Program:
Patients in AK wishing to obtain medical marijuana must be diagnosed with one or more of the following medical conditions:
Will additional conditions be added to the list of qualifying conditions?
Yes, the Marijuana Control Board has a process in place that allow for the petition for new conditions to be added to the list.
Where to find a Medical Marijuana Doctor in Alaska?
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services does not refer to patients to physicians. However, any licensed physician can recommend marijuana to their patient if they are diagnosed with any of the qualifying conditions.
In AK, the patients must have an established relationship with their physician before applying for a medical marijuana card.
Where are the legal cannabis dispensaries in Alaska?
Most marijuana products are available to patients at AK dispensaries. There are dispensaries located across the state. The majority are located in Fairbanks,which is the second most populous city in Alaska. With about ten dispensaries in Fairbanks, it has become Alaska’s medical marijuana hub.
What does my medical card get me at an Alaskan dispensary?
Between the patient and their caregiver, they may possess six marijuana plants, three of which may be mature and one ounce of usable marijuana.
Where are you allowed to smoke?
Registered patients cannot smoke in the following places:
- While operating a motorized vehicle
- In a public place
- Within 500 feet of school grounds
- Within 500 feet of a recreation or youth center
- On a school bus
Are patients and caregivers shielded from discrimination?
Yes, as long as the patient and the designated caregiver are registered, they are both shielded from discrimination. The caregiver must be 21 years of age, and can never have been convicted of a controlled substances felony. The patient must list the caregiver as either the primary caregiver or the alternate caregiver. Only one primary caregiver and one alternate caregiver is allowed per patient.
What is the future of the Medical Marijuana Program in Alaska?
The medical marijuana laws have already changed since medical marijuana became legal in 2014, and they will likely change in the future. To stay up-to-date with proposed regulation changes you can register with the Alaska Marijuana Control Board.