Arizona Marijuana Law

Medical Marijuana

  • Up to 2.5 ounces useable
  • Up to 12 plants if more than 25 miles from dispensary
  • Physician’s permission
  • State registration

Criminal Penalties


Felony – 4mo to 3.75 years


Felony – 1 to 12.5 years


Felony – 6 mo to 8.75 years

Arizona’s medical marijuana law passed in 2010. Proposition 203 earned 50.13 percent of the vote. Patients are permitted to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 12 plants.

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act permits qualifying patients, who have written certification from a physician and who have been diagnosed with a debilitating condition, to obtain marijuana from a registered marijuana dispensary. The Arizona Department of Health Services is charged with maintaining the registration and renewal process for both patients and dispensaries.

Arizona Medical Marijuana Law

Arizona law also addresses several of the social issues of medical marijuana, specifying that it must be treated like any other medication and forbidding employers from discriminating against medical marijuana patients.

Conditions for which medical marijuana is approved include HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain and severe nausea.

Our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys have watched the implementation of Arizona’s law closely, as it takes a unique approach to the issue of dispensaries and cultivation. Under Arizona law, medical marijuana patients are only permitted to grow marijuana (with a 12-plant limit) if they live more than 25 miles from a dispensary. A caregiver or medical marijuana patient may purchase up to 2.5 ounces in any 14-day period from a registered non-profit marijuana dispensary.

In late 2012, the first dispensary was awarded approval to operate. At the time, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced it would be unlikely to approve cultivation permits in the Phoenix metro area because most residents of the Valley lived within 25 miles of the new dispensary.

Marijuana DUI in Arizona

The legalization of medical marijuana has led to a host of issues involving impaired driving. In 2013, an Arizona court ruling sided with law enforcement in allowing motorists to be charged with operating under the influence in cases where traces of marijuana are found in a driver’s system. This is problematic because marijuana can be detected for weeks after it is smoked – long past the time where it impacts a driver’s abilities behind the wheel.

Legal Help for Arizona Marijuana Dispensaries

The challenges medical marijuana faces in Arizona are similar to those it faces elsewhere in the country, including lawmakers and members of law enforcement unwilling to adhere to the will of the voters and state bureaucracy which too often stifles the industry. Not until late 2012 did the first dispensary open, following a ruling by an Arizona Superior Court judge that the federal Controlled Substances Act does not preempt the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Regulators have established 126 Community Health Care Analysis Area and are permitting one dispensary in each area. In many cases, officials have been accused of using zoning ordinances and other impediments to prevent dispensaries form obtaining licensure or lawfully operating.

In White Mountain Health Center Inc. v. Maricopa County, Arizona Department of Health Services Maricopa County tried to argue federal law makes it exempt from following the law as passed by Arizona voters and taxpayers. The court granted the dispensary’s request for an injunction and ordered the county to confirm the dispensary’s zoning compliance so it could complete its license application with the state.

Arizona Medical Marijuana News Archive

Arizona senator aims to tighten medical-marijuana laws,, March 9, 2013.

Reasons for AZ attacks on medical marijuana law remain hazy, Arizona Wildcat, Jan. 29, 2013.

Cannabis Law Group's Medical Marijuana Legal Blog - Arizona marijuana lawyer
Contact Us
Contact Us