What are Medical Marijuana Laws in Arizona? (2022)

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Garry Stewart

Written By Garry Stewart

August 27, 2022

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Marijuana is well-recognized in Arizona. Individuals over 21 years who qualify for specific medical conditions can ideally access medical marijuana as per the state laws.

The legality of Cannabis in Arizona

Initially, medical marijuana was recognized in 1996. Under an initiative, it demanded marijuana as an essential part of curing terminal or chronic illnesses according to a doctor’s prescription. However, the recognition was dropped due to the conflict over the word “prescribe.”

Another attempt to legalize marijuana was made in 2002. Although the effort was unsuccessful, it did not gain much relevance. However, in 2010, with the passing of Proposition 203, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), Arizona legalized medical cannabis. As per the law, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) regulates the production, consumption, and growth of medical marijuana.

Other than medical marijuana, the state also legalized recreational marijuana in 2020. However, there is a significant difference between medical and recreational usage laws. Here is a complete guide to lighten you with the various laws and legislations surrounding medical marijuana. Keep reading to better understand the related guidelines and several rules and regulations.

Now 21 years of age or older are allowed to use, smoke, ingest or consume cannabis products and can possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana or cannabis or 0.85 ounces of concentrated marijuana. As of December 2021, New York state has 3,455 health practitioners and 151,284 patients.

Medical Marijuana and Related Laws

Acquiring medical marijuana in Arizona is subjected to different rules and regulations. Here are some significant rules for effectively and efficiently accessing medical marijuana:

Who Qualifies for Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana can only be accessed by patients suffering from high-risk health concerns. A complete list of health issues exists that makes an individual qualified for getting medical marijuana. Following are major health issues: Alzheimer’s, Wasting syndrome, Terminal pain, Glaucoma, HIV, Muscle spasms, Seizures, Cancer, PTSD, Nausea, and Hepatitis C.If any patient is diagnosed with the above-mentioned medical issues, they qualify for medical marijuana. A licensed doctor or a physician carries out the evaluation.

Possession Limits

The state has imposed certain possession limits despite being used for medical purposes. As per the rule, individuals cannot possess more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks. Individuals can access the amount from state-licensed dispensaries.

Cultivating Marijuana

The state permits the growth and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal purposes only if individuals reside 25 miles from licensed dispensaries. Such individuals can grow 12 cannabis plants. Additionally, the cultivation must be done in an enclosed area where a lock facility is available.

Taxation

Recreational marijuana is subjected to hefty taxes. Individuals pay 16 percent tax in addition to the local and state taxes. While on the other hand, medical marijuana users are free from the payment of excise tax. Thus, medical marijuana cardholders pay 8 percent of tariffs on each purchase. The eight percent is the part of local and state taxes.

Reciprocity

Recreational marijuana is subjected to hefty taxes. Individuals pay 16 percent tax in addition to the local and state taxes. While on the other hand, medical marijuana users are free from the payment of excise tax. Thus, medical marijuana cardholders pay 8 percent of tariffs on each purchase. The eight percent is the part of local and state taxes.

Driving

The law states that individuals under the influence of medical cannabis cannot be prosecuted except if the driver is driving dangerously. Hence, if an individual drives a vehicle recklessly under the influence of cannabis, they are more likely to be prosecuted because it endangers the lives of several individuals at once. If any individual is found guilty of violating this rule, they are more likely to be punished by law. Typically, their license gets suspended, a fine is imposed, and in some cases, they face imprisonment.

Public Intake

The state authorities of Arizona have prohibited the public intake of medical marijuana. They are punishable by law in cases found guilty. The law stands the same even for a registered medical marijuana cardholder.

Caregiving

The state authorities allow medical marijuana caregivers to grow 12 cannabis plants. Furthermore, the cultivation can only be done if the patient resides 25 miles apart from the nearest state-licensed dispensary. Moreover, the patients must have appointed their caregivers as medical marijuana growers. Therefore, the caregivers can also purchase 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis for each patient.

Proximity To A Patient

Unconcerned about whether you are a resident or a visitor, it is legal in Arizona to stay in close proximity with a medical marijuana cardholder. No penalty is charged on it.

Medical Marijuana Card Expiration

The medical marijuana cards in Arizona are valid for two years. Prior to its expiration, it is suggested that the individuals must renew it. For this purpose, individuals need to attend another doctor’s visit to get an updated recommendation and pay another fee. The renewal charges are less than the initial costs for obtaining a medical marijuana card. On the other hand, if an individual does not renew their medical marijuana card, they have to commence the overall process of getting a card again. Thus, to save time, it is best to renew your medical marijuana card on time.

Workplace and Medical Marijuana

Employers cannot discriminate against a medical marijuana cardholder. A valid marijuana card protects the individuals during hiring and firing. Furthermore, employers cannot conduct any drug test unless the patient has consumed or is under the influence of cannabis when performing business activities.

Penalties for Violation

The above-mentioned norms have severe consequences for breaking them. Hence, it is recommended to follow the general guidelines issued by the state authorities. Below-mentioned is the punishment grounds that may take you to jail:

Personal use

Though the recreational use of marijuana is legalized, the state observes some strict rules regarding its possession. Following are the major possession rules:

  • If an individual holds more than one ounce but below 2.5 ounces, they will be held for a minor offense. A maximum fine of $300 is imposed.
  • Holding less than two pounds of marijuana (for personal use) is a Class 6 felony. The individuals are subject to a fine of $1000 or the amount that exhausts the drug offense. The imprisonment of 1.5 years is also imposed. In case probation is received, the offender has to serve a mandatory sentence of 24 hours as a part of community service.
  • If an individual is caught holding 2-4 pounds of marijuana, they are accountable under the law. Hence, it will be observed as a Class 5 felony, and individuals need to serve imprisonment ranging from 9 months to 2 years. If the probation is granted, the offender has to serve 24 hours mandatory sentence as a part of community service. In addition, they have to forfeit the proceeds from the drug violation by paying a minimum fine of $1000.
  • Holding more than four pounds of marijuana is regarded as a Class 4 felony, leading to the imprisonment of a minimum of 1.5 years and a maximum of 3 years. If probation is received earlier, the offender has to serve 24 hours of a required sentence as a part of community service. Furthermore, a fine of $1000 or the amount to exhaust the proceeds of the drug offense is also imposed.

Cultivation

Growing marijuana for personal or recreational purposes is called a Felony in Arizona and is punishable by law. Following are the cultivation-related penalties:

  • If an individual grows more than six plants and up to 2 pounds of marijuana, they are punished under a Class 5 felony. Thus, they have to face imprisonment of a minimum of 9 months and a maximum of 2 years. In case probation is granted, the offender has to serve a mandatory sentence of 240 hours as a part of community service. Additionally, a minimal fine of $1000 or the penalty for proceeds of a drug offense.
  • Furthermore, cultivating marijuana between 2 to 4 pounds is regarded as a Class 4 felony. Individuals may have to face imprisonment of a minimum of 1.5 years and a maximum of 3 years. Moreover, a fine of a minimum of $1000 or a penalty for the drug offense is imposed.
  • Cultivating more than 4 pounds of marijuana is a Class 3 felony. For this, the offender has to serve a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 7 years imprisonment. Along with this, a fine of a minimum of $1000 or the penalty to exhaust the proceeds of the drug offense is imposed.

Holding Hash and other Concentrates

In Arizona, Hash and other related substances are categorized as “Narcotic Drugs”; thus, such possession is punishable by law. Following are the penalties related to it:

  • If any individual intentionally holds five grams of narcotic drugs, they may face a minimum penalty of $2000 and three years imprisonment as a Class 4 felony. The fine may change depending on the decision taken by the court.
  • If an individual holds (knowingly) a narcotic drug for sale, it will be categorized as a Class 2 felony. Hence, as a result, they are likely to face imprisonment for a minimum of 4 years which may range to 10 years. Additionally, a fine of (not less than) $2000 or three times the amount decided by the court, whichever is higher.
  • If an individual knowingly holds any chemical, equipment, or both, as a means to manufacture the narcotic drug, it will be regarded as a Class 3 felony. Under this, the accused is punishable by minimal imprisonment of 2.5 years, ranging to a maximum of 7 years. Furthermore, a fine of $2000 or three times the value decided by the judiciary of narcotic drugs, whichever is higher.
  • Transportation of narcotic drugs in the state is a Class 2 felony and punishable offense. For this, the individual will have to suffer an imprisonment of a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 10 years. Moreover, a fine of not less than $2000 or three times the amount decided by the narcotic drugs court, whichever is higher.

Bottom Line!

Hence, it is best to mention that individuals must follow the general guidelines issued by the state regulatory authorities to safeguard themselves from hefty penalties and imprisonment. Besides, obtaining a medical marijuana card is essential to access potent products and ensure a speedy recovery. Besides the patients, the caregivers must also follow the rules prior to offering their services.

3 Easy Steps To Apply For Medical Marijuana Card

Our Simple 3 Step Process For Medical Marijuana Card

1. Fill up your details in an easy 420 Evaluations form.

2. Get Evaluated by a Local MMJ doctor After Online Submission.

3. Get Approved and Receive your Recommendation In Your Email.

Looking To Apply For A Medical Marijuana Card?

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