Here we’ll explore the ins and outs of Alaska’s MMJ program. And simplify the steps to becoming a patient.
Read on to find out how to get your Alaska medical marijuana card In 2023.
Alaska Medical Marijuana Program
Alaska became one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana.
In 1998, voters passed the Alaska Medical Marijuana Initiative, i.e. Measure 8.
Measure 8 allowed medical marijuana use and possession for qualifying individuals. However, it initially left patients without a way to legally access cannabis.
Patients with a valid physician’s recommendation could grow 6 plants and possess an ounce of cannabis. But Alaska didn’t establish a system for licensed medical dispensaries, leaving MMJ patients in limbo.
To this day, there are no medical-only dispensaries in Alaska. However, patients and caregivers can still buy cannabis from licensed recreational retailers. Overall, their medical marijuana program remains lax in comparison to other states.
The program is run by the Alaska Department of Health, Division of Public Health (DOH).
All medical marijuana patients are required to apply for the Medical Marijuana Registry.
In 2000 and 2004, residents tried to legalize recreational marijuana. Both attempts proved unsuccessful.
Finally, on February 24, 2015 voters approved Ballot Measure 2, aka The Alaska Marijuana Legalization Initiative. This initiative legalized recreational marijuana use in Alaska for individuals over 21.
Currently, adult use cannabis is regulated by Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board (MCB).
In 2019, Alaska became one of a few states to approve onsite marijuana consumption at licensed dispensaries.
What Can You Buy as an MMJ Patient in Alaska?
Medical marijuana patients can buy up to one ounce of usable cannabis per day.
They can possess up to one ounce of cannabis on their person and up to four ounces of cannabis in their homes.
MMJ patients can buy the following types of products:
- dried flower
- concentrates (shatter,
wax, rosin, extract)
- edibles (e.g. candies, beverages, baked goods)
- tinctures (sublinguals)
- topicals (balms, lotions, sprays)
Alaska Medical Card Requirements
To be eligible for a medical marijuana card you must be a legal resident of AK.
Prospective MMJ patients should be over 18. Individuals under 18 will need to have a designated caregiver over 21 to apply for a medical card.
In sum, to qualify for medical cannabis card you must:
- Be a legal resident of Alaska
- Be over 18 or have a caregiver over 21
- Provide proof of age and residency
- Be diagnosed with at least one qualifying medical condition
- Have a medical marijuana recommendation issued by a licensed physician
- Submit an application to Alaska’s medical marijuana registry program
- Pay the registry card fee
Alaska Caregiver Requirements
Caregivers also need to meet a few qualifications to get a medical cannabis card. Individuals must be over 21 and have never been convicted of any felonies.
In order to be a caregiver, you need to:
- Be over 21 years old
- Provide proof of age
- Pass a background check
- Not be on parole or probation
- Be listed as the primary caregiver on the patient’s registry application
Acceptable Forms of ID
- Valid Alaska State Driver’s License
- Valid Alaska State Identification Card
Acceptable Types of MMJ Recommendations
- Medical marijuana certificate issued and signed by your attending physician
- Physician Statement for Medical Use of Marijuana Registry Applicant Form (page 4 of AK’s MMJ registry application)
Alaska Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions List
To qualify for medical marijuana, you must be diagnosed with a serious health condition.
Here’s Alaska’s list of approved debilitating medical conditions for which MMJ can be prescribed:
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Virus (AIDS)
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Any chronic, debilitating disease or treatment of such conditions that causes:
- Cachexia (wasting disease)
- Persistent muscle spasms (including those associated with Multiple Sclerosis)
- Seizures (including those associated with epilepsy)
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
Note, those receiving treatment for any of the above conditions are also eligible for MMJ.
If your medical condition isn’t on the list, don’t panic! You can still submit a petition to see if you may qualify.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Alaska
Ready to get your medical cannabis card today? The process is quite simple!
First, you’ll need to see a board certified physician licensed to practice in Alaska. Your MMJ doctor will see if you qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation.
This can be done online or in person. Pro tip: online is way cheaper and easier! And the most reputable telehealth services offer money back guarantees.
Follow this easy three step process to get your medical marijuana card in Alaska:
1. Consult With An AK Certified Healthcare Professional
You must schedule a visit with a physician that’s licensed to practice in Alaska. They must hold a valid license and be board certified.
- Seamlessly connect with a physician via Veriheal telehealth
- One simple fee
- Approved for MMJ or your money back!
Your MMJ doctor will determine if you’re eligible for medical marijuana. If you qualify, the health care practitioner will provide you with a certificate.
This consultation can occur online via telehealth or in person.
2. Complete Alaska State Application
Fill out a medical marijuana registry application at Alaska’s Division of Public Health. The form can be found online but must be submitted via mail.
You’ll need to submit a photocopy of your Alaska state Driver’s License or ID card along with the application fee. The fee is $25 for new applicants and $20 for renewals.
All required documents and application forms should be mailed to:
Health Analytics and Vital Records
P.O. Box 1106 75
Juneau, AK 99811-0675
Note: be sure your application is completed prior to submission. Incomplete apps will be denied. And you won’t be able to reapply for six months.
3. Receive Your Alaska Medical Card
If your application is complete, you’ll be issued a physical medical marijuana card. Cards are valid a year from the date of issue.
You must renew your MMJ card before it expires if you wish to remain a MMJ patient.
Keep in mind, you’ll also need a new physician’s recommendation at the time of renewal.
How Can I Get My Medical Marijuana Certificate Online?
Obtaining a MMJ certificate online is easy! Plus it only takes a few minutes to receive your recommendation.
We recommend checking out the telemedicine company Veriheal. They service the entire state of Alaska and offer physician statements to qualifying patients.
An added bonus, Veriheal has a 100% money back guarantee policy. So if you’re not improved, you won’t owe a cent!
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your MMJ Certificate Online?
If you’re approved, Veriheal charges $199 for a medical marijuana recommendation.
Alaska Medical Marijuana Purchase and Possession Limits
Medical Marijuana patients can purchase up to one ounce of usable cannabis. They can possess up to four ounces of cannabis in their private residence.
MMJ cardholders can also purchase edibles up to 100 mg per package and 10 mg per serving.
Recreational users have the same possession limits as medical marijuana patients.
Purchase and possession limits can vary by city and county. So be sure to check with your local jurisdiction for specific limits.
AK Medical Marijuana Card Benefits
Medical marijuana patients save more cash on cannabis purchases than rec users. Cardholders pay zero excise and sales taxes. In certain municipalities, recreational consumers owe a 3-5% excise tax on all cannabis purchases.
Note, MMJ patients and rec users may still be subject to local sales tax in some cities.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
If you have a valid Alaska medical marijuana card, you can use it in places that accept out of state medical cards. So you’re earning maximum savings when shopping in and out of Alaska.
Can Consume Cannabis at 18
There’s no need to wait until you’re 21. Medical marijuana patients under 21 can have a caregiver purchase and administer cannabis to them.
With a medical marijuana card, patients that follow Alaska state law are protected from arrest and seizure.
Can You Grow Medical Marijuana in Alaska?
Yes! Cultivation is legal in the state of Alaska.
Both medical and recreational cannabis users are allowed to grow cannabis. The grow limits are 6 plants in total, up to 3 of which can be mature.
Currently, cultivation limits are the same for medical patients and adults 21 and over.
Does AK Accept Out Of State Medical Cards?
No. Alaska is not a medical marijuana reciprocity friendly state.
This means they do not accept out of state medical cards from other states.
However, recreational marijuana is legal for adult use in Alaska. So if you’re over 21, you can buy up to one ounce of cannabis when you’re there.
Interested in what states do accept out of MMJ cards? Check out our up to date article on medical marijuana reciprocity friendly states.
Wrapping Up: Alaska Medical Card
Getting a medical marijuana card in Alaska is quick and easy!
Any resident with a debilitating condition can qualify. You’ll just need a medical marijuana recommendation issued by a licensed physician and to apply for Alaska’s registry program.
Patients under 21 need not worry. They can also be eligible for medical marijuana with a primary caregiver.
Though recreational use is legal, being a MMJ card holder provides you with many benefits. Not to mention, legal protection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the Total Cost for Getting a Medical Marijuana Card?
The total cost depends on how much you pay for the medical marijuana certificate. The application fee for a registry card is always $25. For example if using Veriheal, the total cost will be $224 (it’s $199 for the recommendation + $25 for the physical MMJ card).
How Much is a Marijuana Handlers Card in Alaska?
The fee for a Marijuana Handler Card is $50. To be eligible for a handler card you must take an approved course, provide a course completion certificate and AMCO cover page.
Does Alaska Have Dispensaries?
Yes. Alaska has adult-use recreational dispensaries only. Currently, Alaska doesn’t have a medical dispensary system. Medical marijuana patients can shop at recreational cannabis stores.
Are Edibles Legal in Alaska?
Yes. Marijuana edibles are legal for MMJ and recreational users.
Medical marijuana patients and adults 21 and up may purchase a variety of edible products including: baked goods, beverages, candies, butters, oils and tinctures. All cannabis edibles can only contain up to 100 mg per package and 10 mg per serving.
Can I Apply for an AK Medical Marijuana Registry Card Online?
No. Alaska does not accept online submissions. At this time, the only way to apply for a MMJ card is to mail in a physical application to Alaska’s Division of Public Health.
Medical marijuana registry applications and fees must be addressed and submitted to the address below:
Health Analytics and Vital Records
P.O. Box 1106 75
Juneau, AK 99811-0675
Can I Legally Drive Under the Influence of Marijuana In Alaska?
No. You cannot operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.
Marijuana is a controlled substance in Title 11 of Alaska’s Statues. It is illegal to drive while impaired and you can be charged with a DUI.