Marijuana Dispensaries in Arizona
Marijuana Dispensaries in Arizona
Cannabis Dispensaries in Arizona
Not long ago, Arizona was once known for its tough-on-crime stance and harsh penalties for drug-related offenses — but in 2020, Arizona joined the increasing number of states with remarkably permissive cannabis regulations. Major cities like Phoenix are well on their way to opening recreational dispensaries. Before visiting an Arizona dispensary, you should learn more about the shifting cannabis laws around Arizona.
Cannabis Laws to Know in Arizona
Arizona has legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational use. Medical marijuana has been available to eligible Arizona patients since 2010, and recreational cannabis was voted into law in 2020. Cities and counties have the opportunity to opt out of participation in cannabis legalization, by prohibiting cannabis businesses and/or consumption. As a result, most Arizona dispensary locations are centered around larger cities and tourist spots such as Cave Creek, Flagstaff, and Prescott.
Recreational and Adult-Use Cannabis
Brand-new to Arizona in 2021, recreational cannabis is available to adults 21 and up, who are allowed to purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis and up to 5 grams of concentrates from a licensed Arizona dispensary. Recreational users are also allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants in their home — with a maximum number of 12 plants per household with more than one of-age adult. At-home cultivation must be kept out of public view and in an enclosed, restricted space.
Arizona’s medical marijuana program is managed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Patients 18 or older can apply for a medical marijuana registration card if they have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition. Patients under 18 with qualifying conditions can also apply, but they require the supervision of an adult parent or legal guardian.
Patients with valid medical cards can visit a medical marijuana dispensary in Arizona and purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis within a 14-day period. Patients can also cultivate cannabis at home, adhering to the same rules as recreational users.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Arizona
Adult patients need only one written certification, which must be completed on a form available from ADHS within 90 days of application submission. Patients also need to establish residency with a copy of a photo ID.
Before a minor can apply for medical marijuana access, they and their adult guardian must hear the risks and benefits of medical cannabis from a physician, gain written certifications of cannabis recommendation from two physicians, and agree to allow the designated adult caregiver control over acquisition, dosage, and administration of cannabis products.
All documentation can be submitted online through an ADHS portal along with a $150 processing fee. Patients should receive notice of approval or denial within 10 days and be issued a valid card five days following approval. Cards expire after one year and require renewal, which is an additional $150 fee.
Where Is It Legal to Consume Cannabis in Arizona?
Recreational cannabis consumption in Arizona is restricted to private spaces, like homes and apartments but not including vehicles. Medical cannabis patients are permitted to use discrete methods of consumption, like edibles, oils, and tinctures, as long as they are not operating a vehicle or engaging in negligent behavior. Currently, consuming cannabis in an Arizona dispensary could lose the dispensary its license, so the practice is not recommended.
How to Buy Cannabis at an Arizona Dispensary
Rules for Arizona dispensary operation are currently in flux, thanks to recent (2020) legalization of recreational cannabis. Currently, dispensaries are typically open from around 9AM to around 9PM, but shops are allowed to set their own hours. State law allows dispensaries to offer cannabis delivery, but ordering cannabis through delivery services is prohibited, and many cities outlaw home delivery altogether. Dispensary patrons should bring enough cash to cover their purchases; though some AZ dispensary locations can accept card payments, many continue to operate on a cash-only basis.
How Much Does Cannabis Cost in Arizona?
Currently, consumers can find a gram of dry flower for between $12 and $15 at an Arizona dispensary, though these prices might fluctuate as more recreational dispensary locations open. Concentrates and extracts typically cost at least twice that rate or more depending on the type and quality.
Cannabis Taxes in Arizona
Cannabis purchases are subject to all state and local taxes imposed on retail items. In addition, recreational consumers should see a 16% excise tax, and medical patients should be subject to a 6.6% sales tax with a potential for 2-3% local taxes levied by cities. Tax revenues collected in Arizona go to maintaining the medical marijuana program and enforcing new cannabis laws as well as funding community colleges and highway infrastructure.