Arizona passed Proposition 203 in 2010, which legalized the medical use of marijuana, known as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). To use the AMMA, you must first register, be approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services, and be granted a registry identification card. To qualify under the AMMA, you must meet the following conditions:
Once you meet the above criteria, your next step in getting a medical marijuana card is to get a Physician Certification Form completed by a medical doctor. As you are scheduling the appointment with the doctor’s office, do keep in mind that you’ll pay an application fee of $150 for the card at the time of the visit. This fee is not included in the cost of the doctor’s visit. Your doctor will then submit your application for a medical marijuana card to ADHS. In most cases, ADHS mails the card to you within five working days. Your medical marijuana card, should you choose to keep it, will need to be renewed each year for an additional charge.
Non-residents visiting Arizona can lawfully have and use marijuana within the state if they hold a valid medical marijuana registration card issued in a different state. With that said, statutory limitations prevents such non-resident out-of-state card holders from going to Arizona dispensaries to purchase medical marijuana. Another caveat is the amount of marijuana you can have in your possession; regardless of your own state’s laws under which your card was issued, you must follow Arizona’s laws for the possession and use to be lawful within the state. In Arizona, you can hold and use no more than 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana.
There are two options for patients with medical marijuana cards to obtain medical marijuana. The first option is a dispensary. Medical marijuana cannot be dispensed from a pharmacy. So, dispensaries exist to provide medical marijuana card holders a legal and safe place to make purchases. The second option requires an approval by ADHS for cultivation. If approved, medical marijuana card holders can grow their own marijuana plants. In most cases, this is an option if you live more than 25 miles from the closest dispensary. You’ll legally be able to grow and cultivate no more than 12 plants at a time, however.
In the state of Arizona, there is only a single license which authorizes companies to operate dispensaries is the same license which authorizes the cultivation of cannabis.
Print, fill out, and review the Dispensary Approval to Operate Application Checklist from the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program website. Ensure that the appropriate parties sign and date where required.
Gather all required documents (refer to the Dispensary Approval to Operate Application Checklist) including:
Finally, at least 60 days before the expiration of the license, send the completed application and all additional documents to:
Arizona Department of Health Services ATTN: Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program P.O. Box 19000 Phoenix, AZ 85005
According to the Medical Marijuana Act, Arizona marijuana cultivation must be kept in a locked, enclosed area, out of public view.
Licensed dispensaries are permitted to grow within local zoning areas in an enclosed and locked facility, out of public view.
While there is currently no standards regarding laboratory testing, there is discussion in the state legislation to change this. Using best practices when cultivating, processing, and packaging products is recommended.