As I was looking through a weekly publication in the Phoenix area I noticed that there are several physicians that are already advertising their services for medical marijuana evaluations and certifications for a fee.  Some of the ads and websites seem to imply that the certifications that physicians are writing right now will be valid for getting an Qualified Patient identification card from the Arizona Department of Health Services once the law takes effect on April 14.  This is not the case.

The Department is still in the process of finalizing the Administrative Code (Rules) for the entire program- including the physician certification requirements that will be required when applying for an Arizona Medical Marijuana Qualified Patient Card.  While we haven’t completed the Rules, we’re certain that we’ll be requiring that applicants submit a written certification from a physician on a form developed by the ADHS that will include a series of physician attestations.  Since this form does not yet exist, whatever forms patients are receiving from physicians right now will not meet our future requirements for getting an ADHS medical marijuana qualified patient identification card.

Our goal is to complete the Rulemaking by March 28.  We also expect to publish the official required physician certification form on our website on March 28.  The official start for the program will be April 14- and that’s the first day that we expect to be accepting applications for AZ Qualified Patient Medical Marijuana Cards.  We will begin processing applications for cards on April 14; however the application will need to contain a physician certification on our final form that will be available March 28.  If a patient has had a medical appointment prior to March 28 and received some kind of certification or sheet of paper- the patient will need to ask their physician to fill out and sign the official form in order to receive an AZ Medical Marijuana Qualified Patient Card.

It’s not appropriate for me to give advice regarding whether or not folks should or shouldn’t see physicians right now for consultations regarding whether or not they could benefit from medical marijuana- but I felt compelled to get information out there that the forms that are being filled-out and signed by physicians right now won’t meet our future requirements for receiving an AZ Medical Marijuana Qualified Patient Identification Card from the Arizona Department of Health Services.