Medical marijuana ID applications start today in Arkansas

Beginning Friday, June 30, the state of Arkansas will accept applications for people who want to use, grow, or sell medical marijuana.

Patients have to have written certification from a physician, licensed in Arkansas, in order to qualify.

You don’t have to live in Arkansas. In fact, patients in any state can qualify to buy marijuana – for medicinal purposes.

But, we are finding out that it may not be that easy.

Folks at the West Cancer Center, in Germantown, Tenn., told FOX13’s Valerie Calhoun they have 35-thousand patient visits to the 15 clinics every year.

They said many of those patients have already been asking their doctors about medical marijuana, since it will soon be legal and available in Arkansas.

“It's a drug, it's still illegal in Tennessee. And, it hasn't shown to me anything that is really better than what we already have," West Cancer Center Chief of Staff, Dr. Kurt Tauer, said.

Tauer told us there is one class of patient that does seem to benefit from cannabis. He says for people who have used marijuana in the past, “THC can sometimes help them with nausea and vomiting and appetite stimulation."

Many of West Cancer Center’s doctors, including Dr. Tauer, are licensed in Arkansas and could legally certify patients. In fact, there are two West Cancer Center clinics in Arkansas.

But Dr. Tauer said they are not prepared to apply for a dispensary OR prescribe cannabis to patients.

"If it's not FDA-approved,” Dr. Tauer said, “we just don't do it because that's our standard, that's our quality. That's where we draw the line. "

Dr. Tauer said studies he has seen show FDA-approved medications work better to combat nausea and lack of appetite.

In the meantime, remember that insurance will not cover medical marijuana and even patients can be prosecuted for possession if it's taken out of Arkansas.

Click here to find the application to apply for the Arkansas medical ID.

There are 12 diseases that qualify for medical marijuana use.

They include: Crohn's Disease, severe arthritis and glaucoma. There are also five other conditions that could qualify, including: seizures, severe nausea and intractable pain.

For a look at the Arkansas Medical Marijuana law click here.