Although Arizona and Colorado are neighbors, each state’s attitude toward marijuana has been very different in the past. In fact, Arizona previously had some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. With the passing of the Smart and Safe Marijuana Act, not only is cannabis legalized, but the law also creates a pathway for past marijuana-related convictions to be petitioned for the expungement, which began July 12, 2021. Recreational sales began in the state on January 22, 2021.
Residents of Arizona twenty-one (21) and older may possess up to one (1) ounce of usable marijuana or five (5) grams of concentrate. Patients with a medical marijuana card can possess up to two and a half (2.5) ounces. This limit applies regardless of where the cannabis is located (at home or on your person). Arizona does not have well defined guidelines regarding edible cannabis. While the state has set that edibles cannot be sold in doses of over ten (10) mg with a total of one hundred (100) mg per package for recreational cannabis, they have not defined the total possession limit as anything other than "5 grams of concentrate," which would constitute five thousand (5,000) mg of edibles. Inquire at the dispensary about state guidelines, as they have not been overtly defined for the public.
The purchasing limit for recreational marijuana is the same as the possession limit, one (1) ounce of flower or five (5) grams of concentrate. For medical marijuana cardholders, the purchase limit is up to two and a half (2.5) ounces every two (2) weeks. Where to Buy
Where to buy marijuana?
If you smoke marijuana in Arizona, you have to do it privately. Smoking is prohibited on all forms of public transportation and in any public place. You also cannot medicate at a dispensary or it could lose its license. However, Arizona does allow medical patients to consume medical marijuana in edible form in public, so long as you're not operating a vehicle or doing anything else that could constitute negligence if you're high. Social Lounges
Driving Under the Influence
The Smart and Safe Marijuana Act makes it very clear that although marijuana has been legalized in the state, “driving, flying or boating while impaired to the slightest degree by marijuana remains illegal.”
A person who is registered as a qualifying medical marijuana use patient (see
Medical Marijuana in Arizona
In 2010, Arizona voters passed Proposition 203, legalizing the medical use of marijuana under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). In order to use medical marijuana, you must be a qualifying patient who has registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and received a registry identification card. To qualify as an Arizona medical marijuana patient, you must meet the follow criteria:
- At least 18 years old
- Have valid government-issued ID
- Have Arizona residential address
- Have medical records of past year and provide them to physician
- Must have a "debilitating medical condition," which includes diseases such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
Getting a Medical Marijuana Card
If you meet the above standards, the next step is to schedule an appointment with a doctor to obtain a Physician Certification Form. In addition to the cost of the doctor's visit, you will need to pay a $150 application fee to receive your card. Once you or your doctor's office submits your application, ADHS should mail your card to you within five business days. Note that you'll need to renew your card every year. Get Your Card
Out-of-State ID Card Reciprocity
If you're visiting Arizona and have a valid medical marijuana registration card from another state, you can possess and use marijuana in Arizona. However, you won't be able to get medical marijuana from an Arizona dispensary with an out-of-state ID card due to statutory limitations. No matter how much marijuana you're allowed in your home state, you can only possess and use up to two and a half (2.5) ounces of medical marijuana while in Arizona.
Where to Get Medical Marijuana
Patients with medical marijuana cards can obtain marijuana through dispensaries or
Remember that qualifying patients can only purchase and possess two and a half (2.5) ounces of marijuana every two (2) weeks. Additionally, medical marijuana cannot be smoked in public places, such as schools and parks. However, qualifying patients can consume marijuana in edible form in public places.
Under the Smart and Safe Marijuana Act, Arizona residents over the age of twenty-one (21) may grow up to six (6) marijuana plants at their homes, as long as cultivation takes place within an enclosed area (such as a room, closet, or greenhouse) with a lock and is not visible from public view.
Medical Marijuana patients can grow up to twelve (12) plants of their own if they don't have a dispensary within twenty-five (25) miles of their homes. Like recreational home cultivation, the plants have to be grown in an "enclosed, locked facility," which the law defines as a "closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or security devices that permit access only by a cardholder."
Medical patients looking to grow will also need the ADHS to designate you as a medical marijuana cultivator.
ADHS-designated caregivers can also grow and dispense medical marijuana for one to five medical marijuana patients. To be a caregiver, you must be twenty-one (21) years or older, agree to assist up to five medical marijuana patients, and have no previous drug felonies."
It is currently unclear how, if at all, medical cultivation rules interact with recreational cultivation rules. We hope to have more information as details are revealed.Learn to Grow
Arizona does not allow visitors from out-of-state to shop at Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries, but otherwise acknowledges medical marijuana patients from other states.
Arizona allows medical cannabis delivery. The state has not yet addressed the issue of legalized recreational cannabis deliveries.
*Legal Disclaimer: This article is not meant to serve as legal advice and is for informational purposes only. Laws and regulations are always changing. Therefore, if you have any legal questions regarding Arizona's medical marijuana laws you must consult with a licensed Arizona attorney.