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Legalized Marijuana in Arizona - Discover What's Permissible

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Medical marijuana in Arizona has been legal for well over a decade. The state legalized MMJ in November 2010 after many years of trying. Indeed, cannabis advocates first tried to get the substance legalized in the 1990s! Finally, after many failed efforts, they succeeded when voters said ‘yes’ to Proposition 203. It was a close-run thing; the act passed by just 0.2%!

Then, in November 2020, Arizona legalized recreational marijuana. While setting up adult-use sales can take years in some states, AZ was ready to go within two months, with sales beginning in January 2021. 

Although adults aged 21+ can now access weed, it’s still worth your while to get medical marijuana in Arizona. Patients benefit from cheaper products and higher possession limits. Below, let’s check out how to get MMJ in AZ and outline some important rules attached to the program.

How to Get an Arizona MMJ Card

First and foremost, please ensure you meet the state’s eligibility criteria. For a start, you must be an Arizona resident aged 18+ to apply. Minors can also apply but require the permission and assistance of a parent or legal guardian who must act as a caregiver. 

Furthermore, you must have a qualifying medical condition. At first glance, the list of qualifying conditions seems short. However, it is possible to request the addition of conditions not already on the list. For the record, the qualifying conditions include cancer, PTSD, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS. 

The application process is quite straightforward. You book an appointment with a physician who performs a physical examination and asks you some questions about your condition. They will determine whether MMJ is a suitable option for you. If they decide to approve you, they’ll give you the written recommendation needed to complete the online application form. 

Gather the documentation you need and register with the medical marijuana program in Arizona. For the record, you must send your application within 90 days of receiving the doctor’s recommendation. You must get a fresh certification if you take longer

You can get your Arizona medical marijuana card online without leaving home.  That’s because you can complete the doctor’s appointment online. 

What Are the Arizona MMJ Program’s Once the state’s medical marijuana program approves you, your card is valid for up to two years. You’re free to purchase practically any form of cannabis you wish, as the state has no noteworthy restrictions. Consequently, you can buy marijuana flower, edibles, salves, concentrates, and much more.

According to the medical marijuana program in Arizona, MMJ patients can have an “allowable amount of marijuana”, which equates to 2.5 ounces each 14 days. As it happens, 2.5 ounces is also the maximum you can possess.

While you can grow 12 plants at home with an MMJ card, there’s a pretty big caveat; you must live more than 25 miles from the nearest licensed marijuana dispensary. With well over 130 MMJ dispensaries and scores of recreational sellers, a high percentage of Arizona residents are not eligible to cultivate the plant!

Finally, it is important to remember that you can only use your medical marijuana in a private residence.

Arizona’s Marijuana Penalties

Even though adults can buy marijuana in Arizona, it’s still possible to face severe punishment for breaking the law. For example, adults caught in possession of over an ounce face a fine of $300. Anyone caught with more than 2.5 ounces can potentially be charged with a felony. If convicted, you could spend up to 18 months in prison.

It is also a felony to illegally sell any amount of the substance. Guilty parties could spend up to three years in jail. In case you’re wondering, Arizona had one of the highest numbers of people federally convicted of simple marijuana possession. According to data from the United States Sentencing Commission, over 1,400 people were convicted of at least one count of this crime between 1992 and 2021. 

Final Thoughts on the Legality of Marijuana in Arizona

Fortunately, Arizona is moving away from the days when it was one of the strictest anti-marijuana states in America. Its MMJ program has been in play for well over a decade, and it is possible to complete the entire process online. Adults aged 21+ can buy and possess up to an ounce but if you have an Arizona medical marijuana card, this limit increases to 2.5 ounces.