Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona for several years now. Tens of thousands of Arizona patients qualify for relief from chronic pain and other illnesses via medical marijuana. Even so, the state is known for having some of the strictest marijuana laws in the entire country. Going about the process of acquiring, growing, possessing, or using marijuana the wrong way could mean being charged with a drug crimes felony and a maximum of 3.75 years in prison. So what, exactly, does the law say about growing marijuana? Who is allowed to grow pot, and how much can be grown and possessed at once? Read on to learn more.
Who Can Grow Marijuana in Arizona?
The first step to legally growing marijuana in the state of Arizona is to have a thorough understanding of who is actually allowed to do so. Schill Law Group has encountered many individuals who have found themselves in trouble with the law because they were mistakenly under the impression that they were allowed to do things that are actually illegal and the growing of marijuana is no exception. Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act is very clear about the fact that only qualifying patients who live more than 25 miles away from a legally recognized marijuana dispensary may cultivate medical marijuana. Either the patient or the patient’s caregiver must first be approved to do so by the state.
The key takeaway here is that you must meet specific requirements in order to legally grow marijuana. Just because you hold a medical marijuana card in the state of Arizona doesn’t mean that you are allowed to grow pot – even if it’s for your own consumption and for legitimate medical use. You must do your research to ensure that you don’t live within the mandated 25-mile radius to a dispensary, and you must take the proper steps to be approved by the proper authorities.
What Rules Surround Growing Marijuana in Arizona?
Beyond meeting the criteria for cultivating marijuana in Arizona, there are other rules in place to govern growing pot. For starters, you will need to take care to ensure that you are growing marijuana plants out of public view, and in an enclosed and locked facility. The Medical Marijuana Act specifically defines this type of space as a “closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or security devices that permit access only by a cardholder.”
In addition to this, you will need to limit the number of pot plants that you grow at any given time. State law limits the number of marijuana plants that can be grown by an approved individual to 12. If you are found to be growing marijuana in larger quantities than this, you could be charged with a felony.
Finally, bear in mind that just because you are growing your own marijuana doesn’t mean that you can sell it to others or allow others to consume it. Providing marijuana to someone without a medical marijuana card is illegal. It is also against the law to sell pot if you are not an authorized dispensary.
The Bottom Line
While Arizona has recognized the value of allowing qualifying patients to utilize medical marijuana, the state is still extremely tough on those who abuse the privilege or break the laws that have been set up to govern the Medical Marijuana Act. Unless you have met the legal requirements and been approved to do so, growing your own pot is a felony and could get you into serious trouble.