Updated on January 23, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
Medical Marijuana Program
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 364-1793
Website: Arizona Medical Marijuana Program
As the medical marijuana program in Arizona changes, our team will update our information to be as up-to-date as possible. Check back for recent updates and medicinal cannabis news in Arizona.
Note from State, on sources for medical marijuana
“Qualifying patients can obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary, the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver, another qualifying patient, or, if authorized to cultivate, from home cultivation. When a qualifying patient obtains or renews a registry identification card, the Department will provide a list of all operating dispensaries to the qualifying patient.” ADHS, Qualifying Patients FAQs [Accessed March 25, 2010]
On November 02, 2010, Ballot Proposition 203 “Arizona Medical Marijuana Act”, was approved by 50.13% of Arizona voters.
Prop 203 effectively removing all state-level penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, by patients who have been issued with a “written or oral recommendation”, by their primary care physician, stating that he or she “would benefit from medical marijuana.”
On April 11, 2012, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) released the revised rules for regulating medical marijuana, and scheduled application dates for May 14 to May 25.
On November 15, 2012, the ADHS awarded “approval to operate”, to the state’s first dispensary. And on December 06, 2012, Arizona Organix, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, opened in Glendale.
On May 07, 2013, Governor Jan Brewer signed the amended Senate Bill 1443
Section 1. Section 15-108, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
“A. In addition to the limitations prescribed in section 36-2802, subsection B, a person, including a cardholder as defined in section 36-2801, may not lawfully possess or use marijuana on the campus of any public university, college, community college or postsecondary educational institution. THIS SUBSECTION DOES NOT PROHIBIT MEDICAL RESEARCH PROJECTS INVOLVING MARIJUANA THAT ARE CONDUCTED ON THE CAMPUS OF ANY PUBLIC UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE, COMMUNITY COLLEGE OR POSTSECONDARY INSTITUTION AS AUTHORIZED BY APPLICABLE FEDERAL APPROVALS, WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, THE UNITED STATES DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION AND THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES ON DRUG ABUSE, AND ON APPROVAL OF ANY APPLICABLE UNIVERSITY INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD. B. A person may not lawfully possess or use marijuana on the campus of any high school, junior high school, middle school, common school or preschool in this state.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), effective January 01, 2015.
In 2014, the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services approved the addition of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of Arizona medical marijuana qualifications. The decision allowed PTSD sufferers to use cannabis for palliative care rather than as a specific treatment for the condition.
But advocates paid little attention to the differentiation, as they had long wanted the state to include PTSD in the list of medical marijuana qualifications in Arizona. The director cited a study then published in a medical journal that provided evidence that cannabis could help alleviate some of the symptoms suffered by PTSD patients.
Senate bill 1494 went into effect August 27, 2019. This bill allowed applicants who submitted an initial or renewal application for a qualifying patient, caregiver, or nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary on or after August 27 to be issued a license valid for two years. (https://www.azdhs.gov/licensing/medical-marijuana/index.php)
SB 1494 also allowed for “digital cards” for patients. These are stored on smartphones.
Cannabis concentrates for medical use are green-lighted by AZ Supreme Court (https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/marijuana/the-top-10-arizona-marijuana-news-stories-in-2019-11414407)
In Arizona, qualified patients or their registered designated caregivers may obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period from a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. If the patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary, the patient or caregiver may cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.