Arizona is drastically different from other states in the U.S. Weed is legal in Arizona for both medical and recreational purposes. The regulations vary vastly from medical cannabis to recreational weed.In 2010, voters in Arizona approved Prop 203, Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) through which it was made eligible for Arizonians to consume weed within the limits posed by the state legislation. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) has the responsibility of regulating medical cannabis in the state. In 2020, Arizona legalized the use of weed for recreational purposes, however with restrictions on usage, purchase, sale, and possession.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Laws
Possession Limits and PenaltiesQualifying patients and their caregivers may legally possess up to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) of cannabis and no more than 12 1/2 grams in the form of cannabis concentrate. Even a mmj cardholder, is classified as a petty offense in Arizona if they possess any more than the above-mentioned amounts. Patients or caregivers may offer medical cannabis to another registered patient or designated caregiver as long as nothing of value is exchanged and possession limits are not exceeded. Recreational Marijuana has unlike regulations for possession, consumption, cultivation, and distribution. Law for recreational weed allows the state to consider any violation as a criminal offense and individuals are punishable severely.
Public ConsumptionArizona prohibits the public consumption of marijuana. Albeit, there are several legal events sponsored by cannabis organizations that offer medical cannabis patients an opportunity to gather and consume together each year.
SmokingMarijuana smoking in any public place is prohibited. Patients and adults 21 and older can smoke in private as long as it’s not a place where tobacco smoking is prohibited.
DrivingIt is illegal for drivers and passengers to consume weed in any type of vehicle. Driving under the influence is also prohibited by the AMMA in Arizona.
Employment DiscriminationArizona does not allow any workplace discrimination against mmj card-holding consumers while hiring or firing. Also, a positive drug test cannot be performed on the employee if they did not consume it during work hours or inside the premises of work.
Cultivation Laws in ArizonaThe Arizona Medical Marijuana Act permits patients to grow their own marijuana if they live at least 25 miles away from the nearest dispensary. Medical cannabis patients who meet this criterion are allowed to grow up to 12 plants. It’s important to note that homegrown plants must always be contained in a locked and enclosed facility.
Purchase of Legal Weed in ArizonaMajor metro areas including Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson are populated with Marijuana dispensaries. Some dispensaries even offer curbside delivery in addition to storefront sales.
Medical cannabis patients are credible to pay only state and local taxes but are exempt from any excise tax. At current tax rates, approximately 8% in taxes contribute to marijuana purchases.
The AZDHS demands no potency limits on medical cannabis purchases.
Marijuana grown and processed in Arizona must be tested for the following:
- Cannabinoids and potency
- Harmful bacteria
- Heavy metal
- Pesticides and growth regulators
- Residual solvents
The AMMA act provides limited reciprocity to ‘visiting qualifying patients. In order to qualify, the patient:
- Must not be a resident of Arizona (or has resided in Arizona for less than 30 days).
- Must have been diagnosed with a medical condition recognized by AZDHS.
- Must possess a mmj registration card or its equivalent that was issued obliging to the laws of another state.
Please note that any recognized out-of-state card has the same effect as an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card except that the visiting qualifying patient may not purchase marijuana in Arizona.
As for using an Arizona mmj card in another state, Nevada offers reciprocity. Arizona patients visiting Nevada must abide by all Nevada medical cannabis laws and rules.
Arizona law specifies that only a qualifying patient can apply for a designated caregiver. Registered caregivers must be older than 21 years of age, and a resident of Arizona. They need to meet all eligibility requirements prior to ADHS approval.
A designated caregiver may provide care for up to 5 patients and must hold a marijuana identification card for each patient. Caregivers are suitable to be reimbursed for costs incurred. The formal procedure for becoming a caregiver in Arizona is listed below:
- Proof of residency
- Criminal background checks by AZDHS
- Print, sign, and date the Medical Cannabis Caregiver Attestation form and submit a copy of the form online before receiving a registry identification card.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Card Fees
The fees to go through the whole process of getting a mmj card in Arizona can be briefed as
- New patients or renewal without discount – $150
- New patients or renewal with a discount (eg: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) – $75
- New caregiver or renewal – $200
- Amendments or updates to the card – $10
Expiration and Renewal
Every cannabis card in Arizona expires on the one-year mark. The registered patients must renew the card every year 30-days prior to the expiration date. If you let your card expire, then you might have to do the registration all over again as a new patient. The renewal process requires you to make an appointment with a doctor and pay for the card each time.
Medical Marijuana Card Arizona
In Arizona, you must be resident and have a valid, unexpired, marijuana card to be able to claim marijuana for treatment purposes.
To get a medical cannabis card in Arizona, you must have one of these medical conditions:
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Any chronic or debilitating medical condition, or disease, or the treatment for one that causes cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain, such as from migraines or arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Hepatitis C
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms, such as those associated with multiple sclerosis
- Seizures, including from epilepsy
To consume marijuana there is no age restriction. Only if you are under 18, you will need a caregiver such as a parent or a legal guardian who can register on your behalf in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. Your parent or guardian must be over the age of 21 to become a caregiver and must be approved by the diagnostic practitioner.
Because there are no restrictions on the potency of marijuana recommended for medical purposes, it is a must to possess a mmj card. The process of getting an AZ medical card is pretty easy and can be done wholly through teleservice.
- Application – Claim a certification from a licensed medical health practitioner in Arizona who will provide you with a written form for you to complete. Complete the form within 90 days of certification and submit it for the application for a registry card.
- Validation – Once you receive a notification from the registry, you should complete the online patient registration process. You will be asked to submit residency proof and photo ID for verification.
- Request – If you are in need of a caregiver, then you must request at this stage through the online application. You might also need to request authorization for home cultivation in this step if you prefer.
- Receive – Within 10 days of your submission, you will receive an email from the state with a downloadable medical marijuana card. All Arizona medical cards are digital.
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