Originally Published June 17, 2020
For decades, marijuana usage has been quite a controversial topic. But, with the help of modern research, its medicinal benefits are almost undoubted now. Some of its medical benefits include pain relief and aiding spasticity. And as of 2019, 12% of Americans use this drug.
In Arizona, Proposition 203 legalized the use of medical marijuana back in 2010. And as of January 2020, over 225,000 Arizonans are medical marijuana patients. But these laws remain confusing and unclear. Here’s a quick guide to growing marijuana legally in Arizona.
WHO CAN GROW MEDICAL MARIJUANA?
MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
How do you qualify as a medical marijuana patient?
For you to be able to qualify as a patient, you need to:
- Be 18 years or older (Patients under 18 will need a legal guardian to act as a “designated caregiver”)
- Have an Arizona driver’s license or identification card
- Have a residential address within Arizona
- Have at least one of the conditions listed below:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- A chronic or debilitating condition or its treatment that results in:
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome) or
- Severe and chronic pain or
- Severe nausea or
- Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy or
- Acute or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Please refer to AZ Leg. 36-2801 for more information and guidelines.
How do you qualify as a designated caregiver?
You actually cannot register yourself as somebody’s designated caregiver. The patient will need to include you in his or her application. But before that, you need the following qualifications to be a designated caregiver:
- You must be at least 21 years of age.
- You must have agreed to assist the patient’s medical use of marijuana.
- You must not have prior convictions of an excluded felony offense.
- You must not assist more than five qualifying patients with the medical use of marijuana.
You can find the complete details and guidelines on this page.
If you qualify as a patient or a caregiver, can you then grow marijuana legally?
Not yet. There are other qualifications for you to meet to cultivate marijuana as a patient or as a caregiver. You may grow marijuana only if no dispensary is within twenty-five (25) miles of your home. If you qualify for that, you must apply for cultivation in your application as well.
You should also do so in an “enclosed” and “locked” facility accessible only to you (the patient or caregiver). Aside from that, you can only grow up to 12 marijuana plants; else you could face felony charges.
It is worth noting that Arizona has roughly 126 dispensaries throughout the state. That means that only a handful of people can cultivate medical marijuana. This map should help you locate all legal dispensaries.
This page should help you out for more of your questions about growing marijuana in Arizona.
If you do qualify as a medical marijuana cultivator, you should know that it is illegal to:
- Sell marijuana if you are not a licensed dispensary
- Distribute marijuana to people who don’t have medical marijuana cards
- Carry more than 2.5 ounces of “usable marijuana” with you at all times
You should also have your medical marijuana card when you’re carrying cannabis. Not doing so could land you behind bars.
Here is a list of marijuana-related felonies and penalties in Arizona.
REDUCE YOUR JAIL CALL COSTS BY 90%
GlobalTel’s inmate calling service lowers jail call rates by 90% for jail calls to US facilities. Sign up for our service to eliminate the long distance jail call fees for $45.99 for 90 days. Make US/domestic and international jail calls at the local rate and stay connected to your incarcerated loved ones for less. Learn more about how to sign up for calls from inmates on our website.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.