Updated on May 4, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
With the world of medical marijuana constantly changing, our team diligently updates information about medical marijuana in Alaska to make sure the information we include is the latest and most relevant. Check back on this section for the latest in medicinal cannabis news in Alaska.
In 2014, Alaska voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana use by a 53-47 percent margin. However, the state’s Supreme Court ruled nearly 40 years earlier that adults could legally possess and use small amounts of weed in their homes. The Alaska medical marijuana program allows patients to have up to an ounce of weed in their possession.
While most residents and officials have a somewhat relaxed view when it comes to marijuana, there are occasionally some issues that cause consternation among the more conservative people in the state. For example, in February 2017, the Alaska Marijuana Control Board was considering a proposal that would allow people shopping in retail cannabis stores to smoke inside those stores. However, due to concerns about secondhand smoke, as well as a reticence toward drawing too much attention to marijuana use in the state, the Board decided to pull the proposal off of the table.
There were a lot of concerns with the establishment of a new administration that the federal government would crack down on pot use in states such as Alaska where it is legal. However, a spokesperson with the Alaska attorney general’s office said she didn’t believe the federal government could overturn state law. She also stated that she believed federal enforcement would continue to focus on keeping marijuana revenue from major criminal enterprises and distribution to minors.
Ballot Measure 8 was passed on November 03, 1998 by 58% of voters, the State of Alaska medical marijuana program became effective March 04, 1999, legally allowing patients to receive an Alaska medical marijuana letter of recommendation from a certified physician.
Patients must apply for a State-issued Medical Marijuana ID Card and have the ability to grow and/or purchase marijuana for medicinal use per Alaska state guidelines.
On June 02, 1999, Senate Bill 94 was amended, mandating that all patients seeking legal protection under this act, must enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card. Patients who do not enroll in the registry will not be able to argue the “affirmative defense of medical necessity” if they are arrested on cannabis charges.
The Alaska Statute Title 17 Chapter 37, has been updated, to create a confidential statewide registry of medical marijuana patients and caregivers, by establishing a state identification card.
In Alaska, patients, or their primary caregivers, may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature.
Qualified patients in Alaska may choose to see a marijuana doctor online instead of in-person, using the telemedicine portal, provided that a medical marijuana telemedicine doctor first establish a bonafide relationship with the patient in-person, after which all follow-up visits may be conducted via medical marijuana telemedicine services, online.
The State of Alaska has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued Alaska Medical Marijuana ID Card, permitting the patient to grow and/or purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per Alaska state guidelines.
Since the Alaska medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new Alaska medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the Alaska medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link below to find out more about Alaska’s Medical Marijuana Program. We have compiled the following Alaska medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of Alaska’s laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in Alaska.
Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the department of health services and/or department of justice. For a comprehensive list of Alaska’s qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states”.