6 Arizona Cannabis Laws

Many changes have happened in the Arizona marijuana business in the past year since Proposition 207 was passed, making it legal for people over 21 to use marijuana. As of January 2020, most medical operators, if not all of them, were dual operators because the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) gave them licenses for medicinal and recreational use. In Arizona, this means that most cards can be used for both medical and recreational marijuana.

Because both programs’ laws and rules aren’t always clear, workers with two licenses should follow the strictest rules of each program when they apply.

The rules and laws that apply to Arizona’s medical and adult-use programs are only partially talked about below. The information in this paper is not legal advice. Visit ADHS’s marijuana website to read all of the laws, rules, and directions in detail. Additionally, the parts of the law or regulation that are mentioned may not have anything to do with the statutes or rules that are being talked about.

Laws About Cannabis in Arizona at a Glance

  1. Medical dispensaries that applied for and received an adult-use Marijuana Establishment license, can sell to registered patients and adult-use users at the same location.
  2. Arizona’s medical and adult-use marijuana program is managed by ADHS.
  3. A customer, under the adult-use program, can purchase no more than 1 ounce of marijuana, with not more than 5 grams being in the form of concentrate. A patient, under the medical program, can purchase no more than 2.5 ounces in a 14-calendar-day period.
  4. Adult-use use was legalized in November 2020, after the passing of Prop 207. Adult-use sales began in January of 2021.
  5. Medical operators are called “Dispensaries” under the medical program, whether they are cultivating, manufacturing, or selling marijuana under a vertically integrated license. Under the adult-use program, adult-use and dual-licensed operators are called “Marijuana Establishments,” whether they are cultivating, manufacturing, or selling marijuana under a vertically integrated license. For purposes of this blog post, any reference to “Dispensary” will apply to only the medical operators, and any reference to “Marijuana Establishment” will apply to adult-use and dual-license operators. Using marijuana in any form is prohibited when in public. What constitutes “public” is broad and can even include certain private events, that the public has access to.
  6. Medical use has been legal since 2010 with the first medical marijuana sales taking place in December 2012.
  7. Sales tax on medical marijuana ranges from 5.6% to 7.6%, depending on the county where the sale takes place. Adult-use marijuana is taxed at a rate equal to medical marijuana plus 16%.

Rule 1: Packaging And Labeling

Rule R9-17-317 (Health Care): Any dispensary that sells medical marijuana or a marijuana product must make sure that it has labels that show:

(1) The dispensary’s registry identification number

(2) The amount, strain, and batch number of the medical marijuana or marijuana product

(3) The form of the medical marijuana or marijuana product

(4) If necessary, the weight of the medical marijuana or marijuana product

(5) The strength of the medical marijuana or marijuana product. Be aware that marijuana use can become addicting and can make it impossible to drive a car or run heavy machinery.

(6) Carcinogens in marijuana smoke can make you more likely to get cancer, fever, high blood pressure, a heart attack, or a lung infection.

(7) If the medical marijuana wasn’t grown by the dispensary, whether it came from a qualifying patient, a designated caregiver, or another dispensary

(8) If the marijuana product wasn’t mixed or made ready to sell by the dispensary, whether it came from another dispensary; (9) For a marijuana product: (a) The ingredients in order of how much of each there is; and (b) If the marijuana product contains ethanol, the percentage of ethanol in the marijuana product

(10) The date it was made, harvested, or sold

(11) the registry identification number of the qualifying patient (just for dispensaries)

(12) a list of rules that must be followed when marijuana is grown and/or infused by one operator and then sold to another (R9-17-317(B)-

According to Law 36-2860 (adult-use), you can’t:

(1) Put marijuana products in boxes that aren’t honest or clear

(2) Sell items that look like people, animals, bugs, fruit, toys, or cartoons

(3) Sell or promote marijuana products that look like kid-friendly food or drink names. All packaging has to be safe for kids and clearly labeled with what’s inside and any health concerns.

Explained:

Cannabis doesn’t need to say that it’s medicine or for adults until it’s given to a patient or customer. Businesses that sell marijuana should follow the rules for labeling and packing set out in both the medical law and the law for adult use, which we’ll talk about next.

Marijuana establishments can’t:

  • Advertise or sell marijuana goods that look like kid-friendly brands of food or drinks.
  • Do not put cannabis goods in packaging that is true or misleading.
  • Offer goods that look like people, animals, bugs, food, toys, or cartoon characters.

All packaging must be safe for kids and clearly labeled with what’s inside and any health warnings.

Read More: 6 California Cannabis Laws Need to Know!

Rule 2: Licensing for Selling Cannabis

Currently, ADHS is not accepting requests for licenses or permits for medical or adult use. Late in 2022, 26 Social Equity Licenses will be given out after ADHS reviews the applications received in the first two weeks of December. To get an Arizona Social Equity License, read this.

Rule 3: Patients and Their Caretakers

R9-17-201 (Medical) rule. Arizona people who want to use medical marijuana must be registered with ADHS as a qualifying patient and keep their registry ID card. If someone wants to get a qualifying patient registry identification card, they need to have a doctor’s report of at least one of the qualifying medical conditions. To get an Arizona medical marijuana license, a person must:

(1) be at least 18 years old, have a valid government-issued ID, and live in Arizona

(2) have medical records from the last year to show the doctor who approves the license; and

(3) have a severe medical condition that makes them unable to work, such as (a) severe nausea; (b) PTSD; (c) cancer; (d) HIV/AIDS; (e) glaucoma; (f) severe and chronic pain; (g) Alzheimer’s disease; or (h) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis The medical marijuana card of a patient needs to be updated every year.

Rule R9-17-202 deals with health issues. Anyone who meets the requirements does not need to have an authorized caregiver unless they are under 18 years old. At any given time, a qualified patient can only have one named caregiver. With a few exceptions, a patient who meets the requirements must give the Department the following in order to apply for a registry identification card:

(1) An application in a format given by the Department that includes: (a) The patient’s: (i) First name, middle initial (if any), last name, and end (if any); (ii) The qualifying patient’s date of birth and gender; (b) The qualifying patient’s home address and mailing address, with a few exceptions; (c) The county where the qualifying patient lives; (d) The qualifying patient’s email address; (e) The number on the card or document in subsections (F)

(2)(a) through (e) of R9-17-202; and (f) The name, address, and phone number of the doctor who wrote the written certification for medical marijuana for the qualifying patient. (g) Whether the qualifying patient is requesting authorization for cultivating marijuana plants for the qualifying patient’s medical use because the qualifying patient believes that the qualifying patient resides at least 25 miles from the nearest operating Dispensary (it should be noted that this restriction is obsolete since individuals can now cultivate marijuana at their place of residence under the adult-use program, without the need for approval)

(h) If the qualifying patient is requesting authorization for cultivating marijuana plants, whether the qualifying patient is designating the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver to cultivate marijuana plants for the qualifying patient’s medical use

(i) If the qualifying patient is homeless, an address where the qualifying patient can receive mail; (j) Whether the qualifying patient would like notification of any clinical studies needing human subjects for research on the medical use of marijuana; (k) An attestation that the information provided in the application is true and correct; and (l) The signature of the qualifying patient and date the qualifying patient signed.

6 Arizona Cannabis Laws

(2) A copy of the patient you’re looking for (a) An Arizona driver’s license or ID card issued on or after October 1, 1996 (b) An Arizona ID card issued on or after October 1, 1996 (c) An Arizona registry ID card (d) The photo page in the qualifying patient’s U.S. passport; or (e) An Arizona driver’s license or ID card issued before October 1, 1996 and one of the following for the qualifying patient: (i) A birth certificate that proves they are a U.S. citizen; (ii) A U.S. Certificate of Naturalization or iii. A U.S. Certificate of Citizenship

(3) A recent photo of the qualifying patient

(4) A statement signed by the qualifying patient pledging not to give marijuana to anyone or anything that isn’t allowed to have marijuana according to A.R.S. A written certification from a doctor in a format given by the Department that is within 90 calendar days of when the qualifying patient’s application was sent in.

Explained:

  • Patients who meet the requirements and are over 18 do not need to have a helper.
  • You have to pay $150 to get a medical marijuana card.
  • A patient must have a doctor’s diagnosis of at least one of the conditions mentioned above to get a medical marijuana license.
  • Every year, you have to renew your medical marijuana card.

Read More: 5 Florida Medical Marijuana Laws You Want to Know!

Rule 4: Limits on Having and Buying

Rule R9-17-314 (Health Care): Before a dispensary agent gives medical marijuana or a marijuana product to a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver, they must:

(1) Make sure they are who they say they are

(2) Give the qualifying patient or designated caregiver any necessary patient education or support materials; and

(3) If asked, show the results of testing the medical marijuana or marijuana product as required by R9-17-317.01(A). The qualifying patient’s or designated caregiver’s registry identification number must be entered into the medical marijuana electronic verification system.

6 Arizona Cannabis Laws

The validity of the qualifying patient’s or designated caregiver’s registry identification card must also be checked. Finally, it must be confirmed that the qualifying patient’s or designated caregiver’s requested amount of medical marijuana or marijuana product is legal.

(a) How much medical marijuana was given out

(b) Whether it was given to the qualifying patient or to the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver

(c) When and how much medical marijuana was given out

d) The registry identification number of the dispensary agent

(e) the registry identification number of the dispensary itself. It is the dispensary’s job to make sure that any medical marijuana or marijuana product they give to a customer, a qualified patient, or a designated caregiver comes in a container made of a material that won’t react with or leach into the medical marijuana or marijuana product.

Rule R9-18-309 (adult-use) says that before a marijuana facility agent of a marijuana establishment sells or gives marijuana or a marijuana product to a customer, they must: (1) Make sure the customer is over the age of 21 by showing one of the documents in A.R.S. § 4-241(K); (2) If the customer asks, they must show the results of testing the marijuana or marijuana product required by R9-18-311; and (3) Make sure that the amount of marijuana or marijuana product sold is correct.

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