FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s: Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for approximately 4,000 years. Writings from ancient India confirm that its psychoactive properties were recognized, and doctors used it for a variety of illnesses and ailments.

Arizona Medical Marijuana Program: (From the Arizona Department of Health Services 1-3-2013) Note: The information provided here is intended to provide general guidance and is just a supplement to the final rules and existing Arizona statutes governing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. For specific sections of the rules and statutes: http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/rules/

The Holistic Center* How to Become a Patient: In order to become a AZDHS approved medical cannabis patient, one must first receive a physicians’ recommendation for a qualifying AMMA determined debilitating condition, next one must apply to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

* When can I apply for a qualifying patient card? Qualifying patients can apply to AZDHS at any time after they have received their physicians’ recommendation, the AZDHS website is: http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/index.htm

* How can I apply for a registry identification card to possess and use medical cannabis? A qualifying patient, who has been diagnosed with one of the debilitating medical conditions within the AMMA, will need to obtain a written recommendation from a physician (medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or homeopath licensed to practice in Arizona) with whom he/she has a physician-patient relationship. The written recommendation must be on the specific form provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services. After obtaining the written recommendation from the physician, the qualifying patient can apply online at any time.

What medical conditions will qualify a patient for medical cannabis?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Hepatitis C
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Crohn’s disease
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;
Severe nausea;
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Who can write a medical cannabis certification for a patient? Allopathic (MD), Osteopathic (DO), Homeopathic [MD(H) or DO(H)], and Naturopathic [NMD or ND] physicians who have a physician-patient relationship with the patient may write recommendations for medical cannabis. The physician must hold a valid Arizona license.

Where will a qualifying patient be able to smoke or consume medical cannabis? According to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, a qualifying patient may not consume medical cannabis at a dispensary. State law lists places where a qualifying patient may not smoke medical marijuana, including public places. A qualifying patient who lives in a nursing care institution, hospice, assisted living facility, or adult foster care home or who attends an adult day health care facility may also have to follow restrictions imposed by the facility.

Why do I need to have a medical cannabis registry identification card? Having your approved AZDHS medical marijuana card will over you certain layers of protection while consuming medicinal cannabis. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act says that anyone who follows the requirements can’t be penalized for the medical use of marijuana. The Act prohibits certain discriminatory practices, including:
A school or landlord can’t refuse to enroll or lease to a qualifying patient unless failing to do so would cause the school or landlord to lose benefits under federal law; An employer can’t discriminate against a qualifying patient in hiring, terminating, or imposing employment conditions unless failing to do so would cause the employer to lose benefits under federal law; and An employer can’t penalize a qualifying patient for a positive drug test for marijuana, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during hours of employment.

What is the difference between the different types of medical cannabis? The genus Cannabis contains two predominant species which produce useful amounts of psychoactive cannabinoids, Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Of these two species thousands of phenotypes exist. These phenotypes can be of pure indica and sativa or be a mix of the two. This purity/mixture is how we gauge the medicinal relief that will be associated with the various cannabis strains. Generally indicas provide more euphoric relief and sativas provide more cerebral relief. However the relief a patient receives is dependent on that patient and no two patients are alike. Patients using sativa generally experience stimulating effects, for this reason sativa is often used for daytime treatment. Patients who use indicas tend to experience more of a sedative effect and often prefer it for night time use. Strains of cannabis currently cultivated for medical use utilize sativa and indica in varying potencies, as well as hybrid strains designed to incorporate the benefits of both species. Medical cannabis has been beneficial in the treatment of and/or relieve of certain symptoms associated with: nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, unintentional weight loss, insomnia, and lack of appetite in addition to spasticity, painful conditions, neurogenic pain, movement disorders, asthma, adrenal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, seizures, chronic pain, cachexia, cancer, human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, crohn’s disease, agitation of alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma.