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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Gov Brewer signed a bill into law last week that bans patients from using medical marijuana on the campuses of state universities and community colleges.

Supporters said the Arizona law was designed to protect federal funding for institutions of higher education. Which they argue was somehow threatened by medical marijuana use in state schools.

“With the health and safety of Arizona’s students, as well as literally hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, this legislation is critically necessary,” State Representative Amanda Reeve said. “Our children and adult students are far too important to risk. I’m proud to say we acted swiftly and decisively when confronted by this obvious concern.” Rep Reeve continued to explain that there is more than $666 million in federal dollars could be jeopardized if Arizona allowed medical marijuana on its higher education campuses.

According to a spokesman for Brewer, the drug has “no place on a college campus,” and that “marijuana remains a federal controlled substance, regardless of whether it is being used as a medicinal agent.”

The bill received bipartisan support in the State Legislature. If unchallenged, the law will take effect this summer.

In a Feb. 16 letter to Gov. Jan Brewer, the federal government reiterated to Gov Brewer and the State of Arizona, that it may prosecute state workers for implementing the medical-marijuana program in Arizona.

Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel also said said her office will continue to “vigorously enforce” federal laws against those who operate and/or facilitate large marijuana production facilities and marijuana production facilities involved in the selling of marijuana for medical use.

Scheel stated that Arizona state employees who participate in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act “are not immune from liability” under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Scheel continued to say that seriously ill patients and caregivers who use pot as medically recommended treatment “will likely not be the focus” of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A few days ago we heard about a new handbook available in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff soon for medical marijuana patients and activists. We just received an email that the latest issue of Mary Jane’s Survival Guide is set to hit the streets of Arizona on April 20th 2012 of all dates. Just days away from launching 10,000 copies into the heart of Arizona, the team that makes up Mary Jane’s Survival Guide are a unique breed of talented medical marijuana activists, writers, graphic artists, journalists, medical experts and more that have recently collaborated with their own time, money and commitment to publish some decent reading & information.

“The mission has always been to advance the power of medical marijuana knowledge through literature distribution and online social activism. Finding new ways to help patients has always been our goal,” said Christian Marabel, director of Public Relations for Mary Jane’s Survival Guide.

He conitnued, “Every person on the MJSG team is constantly hunting to find great info for the cause. Things that medical marijuana patients will benefit from. As easy as it is for our team to publish this information online nowadays; there will always be a need for people to read print. We decided that if we will print something, we want it to become a collectible-type thing. Something you would want to hang on to forever.”

Mary Jane’s Survival Guide is said to be published approximately every 30 days and publishes wonderful how-to guides, helpful legal tips, growing tips, mj facts, becoming a caregiver advice and more. These articles typically start with a patient submitted question online and any medical marijuana patient can Ask Mary Jane! If Jane finds your question interesting enough, she typically finds the answer using the vast majority of resources at her sticky finger tips and publishes in the next issue! This Marijuana Survival Guide is truly a unique concept that patients will find extremely helpful. A practical guide built by medical marijuana patients for patients.

Mary Jane’s Survival Guide is currently seeking donations, sponsors, partners and advertisers to join their cause and help keep more patients safe, legal and high.

Mary Jane’s Survival Guide


Imagine that. Putting the power back in to the hands of the people. What will stoners think up next?

According to a blog post by Director Will Humble of the Arizona Department of Health Services is still on track to accept dispensary applications in April. The AZDHS is the department tasked with overseeing medical marijuana in Arizona. After receiving dispensary applications, the Department would then take about 45 days to review and award dispensary certificates. Humble says they could potentially award up to 125 dispensary certificates by mid- to late-June.

For prepared dispensary owners, this means they could possibly be operating as early as July or August of this year. Even though this comes as good news to those interested in owning a dispensary, it just mean more waiting for the 18,000+ patients in Arizona that have already paid the State $150 for an patient card and have not convenient access to medicine. Most patients will have to pay another $150 for their annual renewal before a single dispensary opens.

Until marijuana dispensaries open, patients are forces to find a caregiver using a marijuana caregiver directory or marijuana delivery service directory like the ones on or a marijuana caregiver networking site like Patients that prefer to have someone find them a caregiver can use a service like Compassion First AZ or AzGrowPro that will find them a caregiver for them.


The Compassion First Caregiver Circle will have the Grand Opening of is North Phoenix caregiver cultivation facility Feb 18, 2012. At the Grand Opening patients can get matched with a caregiver, get medicine or get swers to any of their medical marijuana related questions. If you are not already a patient, Compassion First can help get your certified and get you approved for medical marijuana card.

Are you looking for medical marijuana? Do you need a caregiver in Arizona? Then don’t miss the Grand Opening of the Compassion First Caregiver Circle. You can find more information in our marijuana event calendar or on the flyer below.

RSVP today for a tour of the indoor cultivation facility. Or pre-register online to have medicine available for you the day of the Grand Opening.

Renewing your Arizona Medical Marijuana Card in 2012

We met with Jason Reis from Arizona Medical Marijuana Certification Center to discuss how to renew a medical marijuana card in Arizona. As it turns out, the State didn’t make it very easy to renew your medical marijuana card. In fact, it seems the renew process isn’t much easier than the original application process.

Unlike other states that allow patients to renew fairly easily, Arizona has decided it is necessary for patients to submit nearly ALL of their documentation again. Not only that, there are several documents that must be new or current for you to renew your AZ marijuana card.

What do I need to Renew my AZ Medical Marijuana Card?

In addition to the $150 renewal fee you will need the following to get your medical marijuana card renewal:

  • You will need to obtain and submit a new and current physician certification.
  • You will need to obtain and submit a new and current photograph.
  • You will need to obtain and submit a new Patient Attestation Form signed and dated with the current date.
  • If you are SNAP eligible, you will need to obtain and submit current documentation of your SNAP eligibility. The document submitted must indicate your first and last name.
  • If your name has changed since your last application you may need to submit a copy of your identification.

We know, it sucks. But the guys over at AZMMCC will make it as painless as possible. Arizona Medical Marijuana Certification Centers has locations all over the state and one of the premier marijuana doctors in Arizona. They truly care about their patients’ well-being and their professionalism is second to none.

In addition to the physician certification, they will also help you complete and submit your documentation to the State.

Contact AZMMCC here.


More People Eligible to Own Marijuana Dispensaries Now.

Thanks to the lawsuit Compassion First v. Arizona, the rules governing who can own a dispensary have been somewhat relaxed. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Richard Gama issued a ruling recently that overturned some of the proposed restrictions for dispensary applicants.

Among the proposed rules that were overturned:

  • Dispensary owners no longer need to have lived in Arizona for 3 years
  • Applicants who have previously filed bankruptcy will no longer excluded

Judge Gama also ordered that Brewer and the state proceed with the application process to approve dispensaries. In his ruling, Gama sided with Judge Bolton and said the state had no right to further delay the implementation of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

“Defendants cite no authority for this proposition and the court has found none,” Gama said in his ruling. “The voters intended the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act to be implemented within 120 days. This has not been done.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services’ goal is to accept applications this April and potentially have up to 125 dispensary licenses awarded by mid-June.

Rules and Info About Opening a Dispensary

Find more information about owning a dispensary in Arizona by reading the Medical Marijuana Dispensary FAQ by the AZDHS.


The Arizona Department of Health Services released a statement saying they will begin accepting applications for marijuana dispensaries in Arizona. They have begun reviewing the outdated rules that were released last year and said they hope to begin accepting applications in the summer.

The dispensary program was put on hold last year while the Governor sought clarity from a federal judge about whether or not the State employee’s were at risk of federal prosecution for implementing the law. A federal judge threw out the case in early January stating that the State had “not shown that any action against state employees in this state is imminent or even threatened.” Further, the complaint failed to show that any state officials had been prosecuted in other states for “participation in state medical marijuana licensing schemes.”

Critics say that it was clear State employees were never at risk and that the lawsuit was a stall tactic the Governor was using to delay the medical marijuana program in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Health Services’ goal is to accept applications this April and potentially have up to 125 dispensary licenses awarded by mid-June.

From January 23rd to the 27th, the Arizona Department of Health Services will accept petitions for additional debilitating medical conditions to be added to the list of those that qualify patients to use medical marijuana in Arizona.

If you think your condition should qualify you to use medical marijuana, download this form and mail it to the Arizona Department of Health Services between  23rd and 27th of January.

View the current list of qualifying conditions. If your condition is already listed, find a medical marijuana doctor in our directory.


AZ Marijuana Basic Laws

Arizona Marijuana Law Basics.


The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) (A.R.S. § 36-2801) was implemented in 2010 and tightly regulates the Arizona medical marijuana industry.  Currently, there are approximately 40,000 medical marijuana patients and 100 operating state-licensed dispensaries in Arizona.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is operated by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

Below is a summary of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Who Can Possess Marijuana in Arizona?

Qualifying patients who have registered with the ADHS and have been issued a registry identification card.

- A qualifying patient is a person who has been diagnosed and certified by a marijuana doctor (an Arizona-licensed M.D., D.O., M.D.(H), or N.D.) as having a qualifying medical condition and then obtains an Arizona Medical Marijuana Registry ID Card (a “Green Card”) from the ADHS.

- Qualifying medical conditions include:  Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C,  Crohn’s Disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or its treatment, that produces severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, cachexia (wasting syndrome),  seizures (including epilepsy), or severe and persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis).

To apply for a registry identification card, contact a marijuana doctor (they will assist you through the process).

The application fee for a qualifying patient is $150.  Most marijuana doctors charge $100-$150 for the doctor certification and appointment.  Therefore, an Arizona Medical Marijuana Registry ID Card typically costs $300 or less.  ID cards must be renewed annually.

Read article: “How to Get an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card”

Nonprofit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries - a not-for-profit entity that sells, cultivates, and/or delivers marijuana (and marijuana-related products) to qualifying patients or designated caregivers.

- Dispensaries must be licensed by the ADHS to legally operate.

- Dispensaries must have a Medical Director (Arizona-licensed doctor) on staff

View the Arizona Dispensaries Map

Designated caregivers are registered with the ADHS and have been issued a registry identification card which allows them to grow and dispense medical marijuana for up to five medical marijuana patients.  To qualify to become a caregiver, you:

- Must be 21 years old

- Must agree to assist one to five qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana

- Must not have been convicted of a drug felony and be fingerprinted for a background check

Qualifying patients can designate a caregiver on their ADHS application, if desired.  Or instead, the patient can grow their own medical marijuana or get it from a dispensary.

The application fee for a designated caregiver is $200.

Find Arizona Caregivers

Dispensary Agents

- An employee or volunteer of a dispensary

- Must be at least 21 years old

- Must not have been convicted of a drug felony and  be fingerprinted for a background check

To apply for a dispensary agent card, the dispensary must submit to the ADHS for the dispensary agent a set of fingerprints and a signed certification that he agrees not to provide medical marijuana to anyone who is not permitted to possess medical marijuana.

The application fee for a dispensary agent is $500.

Find Arizona Marijuana Jobs

How much medical marijuana can a qualifying patient possess?

- A qualifying patient may purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana every two weeks.  If the patient is authorized to grow marijuana they can posses up to 12 plants.

- A designated caregiver may possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable medical marijuana for each qualifying patient and up to 12 plants for each patient (maximum of five patients).

Where in Arizona can you NOT use medical marijuana?

- Medical marijuana cannot be smoked in any public facility or public areas (i.e. schools, parks, buses, etc)

- Medical marijuana can be consumed in edible form in public areas.

Persons cannot be prosecuted for being near someone who is legally using or possessing medical marijuana in Arizona. Adult care facilities can adopt rules for the use of medical marijuana at their facilities.

What other restrictions do qualifying patients need to know when using medical marijuana?

- Anyone can get a DUI if marijuana is found in their system, including medical marijuana patients.

- An employer cannot penalize a medical marijuana patient for a positive drug test for marijuana, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during hours of employment.

- Health insurance companies and the federal government still consider marijuana an illegal substance.

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Learn more about Arizona’s medical marijuana laws