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Basics of Arizona Medical Marijuana Law

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.

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