ADHS will be performing maintenance on the Medical Marijuana systems starting on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 10 PM expected to be completed by Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 4 AM. During this time, Medical Marijuana Online Registry Applications will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience this maintenance downtime may cause. If the process is completed earlier, the systems will be made available at an earlier time.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Program
- Arizona Medical Marijuana End of Year Report 2014
- The Arizona Department of Health Services will accept Dispensary Registration Certificate applications in late 2015. There will be more information forthcoming regarding which, and the number of, CHAAs that will be available.
ADHS is providing information for physicians related to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. Below you will find links to documents important for physicians to read before making written certifications for the medical use of marijuana for their patients.
Open Letter to Physicians
We realize that many Arizona physicians may not yet feel comfortable with or fully informed about medicinal marijuana. It is likely that some of your patients will have questions for you about medical marijuana or perhaps request a certification from you. To assist you, we have reviewed numerous articles and sources of information about the medical use of marijuana in the letter below.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Added January 1, 2015Starting January 1, 2015, qualifying patients can obtain a medical recommendation from a physician for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Available on January 1st, the Department’s revised physician certification form will include an additional attestation that the physician has verified that the qualifying patient is receiving treatment other than medical marijuana for the PTSD. The on-line qualifying patient application will also be revised to allow the applicant to select the PTSD condition. For clarification regarding what is considered treatment for a qualifying patient with a diagnosis of PTSD, physicians should review our substantive policy statement.
Continuing Medical Education for PTSD Treatment
A few weeks ago a Director's Decision authorized the use of marijuana (under the AZ Medical Marijuana Act) for patients undergoing conventional treatment for PTSD. Certifications will be valid only for palliative care. The implementation date is delayed until January 1 to allow time for certifying physicians, dispensary medical directors, and dispensary agents to develop policies, procedures, and educational materials before the decision takes effect.
One good training option for physicians (and other clinicians) was recently uploaded to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's website. It's entitled "Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)". The CME/CE activities are accredited for a multi-disciplinary audience of health care practitioners and provides 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ as well as Certified Contact Hours for Case Managers, Certified Health Education Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, and Pharmacists.
The monograph summarizes a systematic review and meta-analysis from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program and examines various evidence-based treatments for adults with PTSD. It covers the benefits, harms, and comparative effectiveness of various treatment strategies for adults diagnosed with PTSD- including the comparative effectiveness of psychological treatments.
Medical Marijuana Continuing Medical Education (CME) Module
One of our primary goals from the start has been to try to build a true medical marijuana program. One of the keys is setting clear expectations for clinical assessment and medical record review by physicians before they sign a medical marijuana certification.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has collaborated with the U of A’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to develop a 5-hour free online Certified Medical Education course regarding the physician’s role and expectations under AZ Medical Marijuana program.
You can access the CME module through the University of Arizona Global Health Institute and select "New User Registration." After logging in, click on the Learning Center link, which will take you to the Learning Management system containing the Medical Marijuana course under the e-Training category.
Using Medical Marijuana Safely
ADHS contracts with the Center for Toxicology and Pharmacology Education and Research (CTPER) which includes the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy in Tucson and the Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix to provide information to patients and dispensaries. Please visit their website at for some important information about how to use medical marijuana safely.
The Poison and Drug Information Center also provides a 24-hour, 365 day hotline to take your calls regarding medical marijuana concerns such as uses of medical marijuana, side effects, time and effects, and mixing marijuana with other drugs. 1-800-222-1222
Certification Form for Qualifying Adult Patients
If a physician would like to recommend medical marijuana to a qualifying patient, the physician must first certify that the patient has one of the "debilitating medical conditions" listed in A.R.S. §36-2801. The certification must be on the Department-provided form below:
Certification Form for Qualifying Patients Under 18
In addition to the Physician Certification Form above, if the qualifying patient is under the age of 18 a reviewing certification, provided by a different physician, is required. The reviewing physician must review the qualifying patient's medical records and also recommend medical marijuana to the qualifying patient. The reviewing certification must be on the Department-provided form below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Check out the FAQs to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by physicians.