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AZDHS Adult-Use Cannabis FAQ

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What is Prop 207?

On November 3, 2020, Arizona voters voted “yes” on Proposition 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, a voter initiative to allow adults 21 years of age or older to use, possess, or transfer up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate for personal use not more than six marijuana plants at a primary residence; bans smoking marijuana in public places and open spaces; amends criminal classifications and penalties for marijuana possession and use; allows the retail sale of cannabis at licensed establishments; imposes a 16% excise tax on marijuana sales to fund community colleges, infrastructure, public safety, and public health programs; authorizes state and local regulation of the sale and production of marijuana by a capped number of licensees; and allows courts to vacate and expunge certain cannabis arrests, charges, adjudications, convictions, or sentences.

What is the difference between medical and adult use marijuana?
Adult Use of Marijuana Program

Adult use of marijuana is an adult 21 years of age or older possessing, consuming, purchasing, processing, manufacturing by manual or mechanical means, including sieving or ice water separation but excluding chemical extraction or chemical synthesis, or transporting one ounce or less of marijuana, except that not more than five grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate. See A.R.S. § 36-2852(A)(1)

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Medical Marijuana Program

“Medical use” of marijuana is defined in Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 36-2801 as “… the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, administration, delivery, transfer or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marijuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the patient’s debilitating medical condition.”

A “Qualifying patient”, according to A.R.S. § 36-2801(15) is a “person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.”

A “debilitating medical condition” is defined in A.R.S. § 36-2801 as:

  1. Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease or agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or the treatment of these conditions.
  2. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
    1. Cachexia or wasting syndrome.
    2. Severe and chronic pain.
    3. Severe nausea.
    4. Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy.
    5. Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
  3. Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the department pursuant to section 36-2801.01.

Can I smoke marijuana in public in Arizona?

No, marijuana may not be smoked in public. See A.R.S. §§ 36-2802(B), (C); 36-2851

Can I drive under the influence of marijuana?

No, a person cannot drive, fly or boat while under the influence of marijuana. See A.R.S. §§ 36-2802; 36-2851

Is my employer required to allow me to use marijuana?

Adult Use of Marijuana Program

An employer retains the right to maintain a drug-and-alcohol-free workplace. See A.R.S. § 36-2851(1), (2), (6), (7) and (9)

Medical Marijuana Program

An employee has some protections from discrimination as a registered qualified patient. See A.R.S. § 36-2813(B)

Has a tax been placed on marijuana?

A 16% excise tax has been placed on adult use marijuana products. (See A.R.S. § 42-5452) However, there is no excise tax on medical marijuana.

Do I still need a medical marijuana registry identification card?

Though Proposition 207 allowing the adult use of marijuana has passed, the medical marijuana program will continue its service to qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions. The decision to keep a Medical Marijuana Registry Identification Card is your own.

What will happen with MM patient and caregiver cards that haven’t expired yet?

Though Proposition 207 allowing the adult use of marijuana has passed, the medical marijuana program will continue its service to qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions. Qualified Patient and Caregiver Cards will remain active until the expiration date of the card or until an individual submits a request to void the card. It will be the determination of the cardholder if they wish to renew their medical marijuana card.

Will there be refunds for medical marijuana registry identification card holders?

No, the fees are nonrefundable according to A.A.C. R9-17-102(A).

With the passing of Proposition 207, will patients and caregivers still need to renew medical marijuana registry identification cards that expire within the next year?

All registry identification cards expire two years after their date of issue according to A.R.S. § 36-2804.06. In order to maintain status as a qualifying patient with a debilitating medical condition, you would need to renew your card in accordance with A.A.C. R9-17-204.

Can I cultivate adult use marijuana at my primary residence?
Adult Use of Marijuana Program

If you are an adult 21 years of age or older, you may cultivate not more than six marijuana plants for personal use at your primary residence. Not more than 12 plants are allowed at a residence where two or more people over the age of 21 live. Cultivation must take place within a closet, room, greenhouse or other enclosed area on the grounds of the residence equipped with a lock or other security device that prevents access by minors. See A.R.S. § 36-2852(A)(2)

Medical Marijuana Program 

As a medical marijuana qualified patient or caregiver, you have cultivation rights if your residence address is over 25 miles from an operating dispensary, as indicated on your card and may cultivate up to 12 plants.

Can I grow marijuana even if I’m within 25 miles of a dispensary or establishment?
Adult Use of Marijuana Program

If you are an adult 21 years of age or older, you may cultivate not more than six marijuana plants for personal use at your primary residence. Not more than 12 plants are allowed at a residence where two or more people over the age of 21 live. Cultivation must take place within a closet, room, greenhouse or other enclosed area on the grounds of the residence equipped with a lock or other security device that prevents access by minors. See A.R.S. § 36-2852(A)(2)

Medical Marijuana Program

As a medical marijuana qualified patient or caregiver, you have cultivation rights if your residence address is over 25 miles from an operating dispensary, as indicated on your card and may cultivate up to 12 plants.

Now that individuals can cultivate marijuana, can they sell it?

No, adult use marijuana cannot be sold outside of a marijuana establishment or a medical marijuana dispensary. See A.R.S. §§ 36-2801(13), 36-2816; 36-2852

When will marijuana for adult use begin being sold?

Applications for the first marijuana establishment licenses will begin being accepted January 19, 2020 for early applicants. Early applicants that have a medical marijuana dispensary license may be able to begin adult use sales of marijana as soon as late January 2021.

When is the legal age to purchase and/or use adult use marijuana?

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) 36-2850(4) defines a “consumer” of adult use marijuana as “… an individual who is at least twenty-one years of age and who purchases marijuana and marijuana products.”

A.R.S. § 36-2851 subsections (4) and (5) state:

  • [A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 28.2]:
    1. Does not allow an individual who is under twenty-one years of age to purchase, possess, transport or consume marijuana or marijuana products.
    2. Does not allow the sale, transfer or provision of marijuana or marijuana products to an individual who is under twenty-one years of age. 
How much marijuana am I able to purchase?
Adult Use of Marijuana Program

A person 21 years of age or older may purchase one ounce or less of adult use marijuana, except that not more than 5 grams of marijuana may be in the form of marijuana concentrate.

Medical Marijuana Program

The amount purchased cannot cause the registered qualifying patient to exceed the limit of obtaining no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a 14 day period.

Can I purchase marijuana as a qualifying patient and also adult use program?

Yes, as long as you are 21 years old or older and do not possess more than the allowable amount.

What is a marijuana establishment and how is it different from a medical marijuana dispensary?

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 36-2850(18) defines “marijuana establishment” as: 

[An] entity licensed by the department to operate all of the following:

  1. A single retail location at which the licensee may sell marijuana and marijuana products to consumers, cultivate marijuana and manufacture marijuana products.
  2. A single off-site cultivation location at which the licensee may cultivate marijuana, process marijuana and manufacture marijuana products, but from which marijuana and marijuana products may not be transferred or sold to consumers.
  3. A single off-site location at which the licensee may manufacture marijuana products and package and store marijuana and marijuana products, but from which marijuana and marijuana products may not be transferred or sold to consumers.

A.R.S. § 36-2801 defines a “nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary” as “a not-for-profit entity that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies, sells or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders. A nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary may receive payment for all expenses incurred in its operation.”

Can a marijuana establishment also be a medical marijuana dispensary?

Yes, Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 36-2850 defines “dual licensee” as “… an entity that holds both a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration and a marijuana establishment license.”

What is an early applicant for a marijuana establishment?

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 36-2850 defines “early applicant” as “either of the following:

  • An entity seeking to operate a marijuana establishment in a county with fewer than two registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • A nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary that is registered and in good standing with the department.”

How do I get a fingerprint clearance card?

When the marijuana establishment and marijuana facility agent card applications become available, if you have a Level 1 Fingerprint Clearance Card (FCC) issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS), you may submit an electronic copy of your card in place of inked fingerprint cards. At this time, DPS cannot accept new applications for Level 1 FCCs for marijuana facility agent applications. If you do not already have an FCC, you will need to submit new inked fingerprint cards.

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