How Much Medical Marijuana Can You Buy in Arizona?
Since 2010, medical marijuana consumption has been legal for certified patients in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean you can just run to your local dispensary and buy up 6 ounces of Northern Lights. There are limits to the amount of cannabis you can possess and consume, even as a card-carrying patient. And while these limits aren’t as strict as they are in the recreational market, they’re still important to know.
Medical Marijuana Purchase Limits in Arizona
Under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, patients are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 2 weeks. That amounts to about 71 grams of whole-plant cannabis. Recreational users are only allowed to purchase and possess up to one ounce at a time, so this is one reason why it’s still a good idea to get your medical marijuana card if you have a qualifying condition.
There is some understandable confusion about the word “possess” as it pertains to the law in Arizona. The law doesn’t distinguish between possession at home and possession on your person. So if you own it, it’s considered possession.
That’s why, while it might seem like recreational cannabis users have the advantage (just purchase 1 ounce every day and smoke as much as you want), non-medical users are still required to remain within their 1-ounce possession limit at all times whereas medical patients still maintain a lot more freedom and flexibility.
Marijuana Extract Purchase Limits in Arizona
Recreational users are limited to just 5 grams of concentrate, but medical patients aren’t subject to this restriction. A cannabis concentrate or extract is any product from which the cannabinoids and other compounds have been extracted from the plant and compressed into a more potent form.
Examples of concentrates include wax, shatter, budder, hash, rosin, and syrup. Because the cannabinoids are highly concentrated, concentrates typically have a THC content above 50% and can sometimes exceed even 80%.
Recreational users are also subject to THC limits in edible products. This means that some high-THC formulations, like tinctures, are largely inaccessible to buyers in the recreational market.
While some recreational users prefer concentrates and edibles for their higher potency, a lot of medicinal users rely on them to address severe pain and other chronic conditions for which standard doses are less effective. If you use concentrated forms of cannabis for medicinal purposes, it’s especially important that you maintain an active patient card.
Medical Marijuana Cultivation Limits in Arizona
If you live more than 25 miles from your nearest dispensary, you may be able to grow your own cannabis at home. Medical marijuana patients who meet this qualification are allowed to grow up to 12 plants—compared to only 6 plants for a recreational user.
The state imposes other cultivation requirements as well. Specifically, all plants must be grown in an "enclosed, locked facility," defined as a "closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or security devices that permit access only by a cardholder."
In addition, you’ll need to apply for a medical marijuana cultivator designation with the Arizona Department of Health Services. So while this option isn’t for everyone, it may be a good solution if there are no dispensaries in your area yet.
Other Reasons to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona
There are several perks to getting a medical marijuana card in Arizona, and the higher possession limits are just the tip of the iceberg.
For instance, recreational users are forbidden from consuming any type of cannabis in public. Although medical patients cannot smoke in public, they can consume edible forms of cannabis as long as they’re not operating a motor vehicle or doing anything else that could constitute negligence.
In addition, Arizona allows medical cannabis delivery for patients. Delivery services are not permitted for recreational users.
Also, having an AZ medical card may allow you to access medical marijuana in other states, including those that prohibit recreational use. As long as the state has a reciprocal medical marijuana program, you should be able to access dispensaries or at least apply for a temporary visitor card. States with reciprocal programs include Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.
How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient
To become a medical marijuana patient in Arizona, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
You must be at least 18 years of age
You must have a valid, government-issued ID with an AZ residential address
You must have a qualifying medical condition such as glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, nausea, or severe chronic pain.
You must have a physician’s recommendation.
If you’d like to get certified, Arizona Green Leaf can help. We employ the best medical marijuana doctors in Arizona, and we have locations to serve you in both Chandler and Scottsdale. Telemedicine services are also available. We take care of the paperwork for you so that you can get certified in less time.
Contact us at 480-656-1068 if you’d like to learn more or get started.