The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has just reported the results of its first five months of issuing ID cards to Qualified Patients (QPs) and Designated Caregivers (DCs) under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA).
A total of 11,133 QP applications have been approved. Only seven QP applications have been denied, a success rate of 99.5 percent. About 75 percent of the QPs are men.
Chronic pain continues to be the overwhelmingly predominant debilitating medical condition cited by the certifying physician, making up more than 85 percent of the total. Muscle spasms are a distant second at 15.9 percent, followed by nausea at 12.8 percent. Cancer patients make up only 4.9 percent of the total QPs approved thus far.
The growth in DCs has been small, with only 487 applications approved thus far, out of 507 submitted.
The QPs are clustered mainly in the state's two largest cities, with the densest populations in the Valley's population cores of Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Peoria, and Chandler.
Because of the litigation holding up implementation of the AMMA's dispensary system, fully 81 percent of all QPs are requesting and being granted permission to cultivate their own medical marijuana.
The age distribution is interesting. The largest percentage of QPs are in the 51-60 age group, at nearly 25% of the total. The rest of the age cohorts found in most Arizona workplaces each makes up about 20% of the total: 18- to 30-year-olds, at 21.9 percent, 31- to 40-year-olds, at 20.4 percent, and 41- to 50-year-olds, at 19.9 percent. The 61- to 70-year-old cohort makes up 11.3 percent of the total.
Most of these QPs are in the Arizona labor force, potentially in your workplace.