While medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, the recreational use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana can subject you to some of harshest laws in the country. A ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older was presented to voters in November 2016, but the initiative failed to pass with 52 percent in opposition.
Recreational Marijuana in Arizona
Arizona has some of the strictest recreational marijuana laws in the United States. The possession, sale, cultivation, and trafficking of marijuana are susceptible to a felony conviction. The possession of less than 2 pounds for personal use is a Class 6 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 4 months to 2 years and a minimum fine of $1,000. Possession for personal use of 2 to 4 pounds of marijuana is a Class 5 felony and is punishable by a sentence of 6 months to 2.5 years, and a minimum fine of $1000.
Medical Marijuana in Arizona
Medical marijuana was legalized in Arizona after voters approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in November 2010. Under the law, patients with a “written certification” from a physician are allowed to use and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period. Qualified patients should keep their medical marijuana cards on hand at all times.
Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana under Measure 2 are as follows:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizures (including Epilepsy)
- Severe and Chronic Pain
- Severe or Persistent Muscle Spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis)
- Severe Nausea
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Arizona
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Arizona
Cultivation of cannabis for recreational use or research purposes is strictly prohibited in Arizona. Registered medical marijuana patients or designated caregivers that don’t live within 25 miles from a dispensary are allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.
In May 2018, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Senate Bill 1098 to establish the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s (AZDA) agricultural pilot program. The law permits the growing, processing, transporting, and study of hemp by those licensed by the AZDA. The law takes effect in summer 2019.
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