Arizona Marijuana Laws
Updated July 2019
While medical marijuana is legal in Arizona, the recreational use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana can subject you to some of the harshest laws in the country. A ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older was presented to voters in November 2016, but the initiative failed to pass with 52 percent in opposition. Learn more about Arizona marijuana laws below.
Recreational Marijuana in Arizona
Is marijuana legal in Arizona? No– Arizona has some of the strictest recreational marijuana laws in the United States. The possession, sale, cultivation, and trafficking of marijuana are susceptible to a felony conviction. The possession of less than 2 pounds for personal use is a Class 6 felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 4 months to 2 years and a minimum fine of $1,000. Possession for personal use of 2 to 4 pounds of marijuana is a Class 5 felony and is punishable by a sentence of 6 months to 2.5 years, and a minimum fine of $1000.
Medical Marijuana in Arizona
Medical marijuana was legalized in Arizona after voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in November 2010. Under the law, patients with a “written certification” from a physician are allowed to use and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period. Qualified patients should keep their medical marijuana cards on hand at all times.
Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana under Measure 2 are as follows:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Seizures (including Epilepsy)
- Severe and Chronic Pain
- Severe or Persistent Muscle Spasms (including Multiple Sclerosis)
- Severe Nausea
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Arizona
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Arizona
The cultivation of cannabis for recreational use or research purposes is strictly prohibited in Arizona. Registered medical marijuana patients or designated caregivers that don’t live within 25 miles from a dispensary are allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.
In May 2018, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Senate Bill 1098 to establish the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s (AZDA) agricultural pilot program. The law permits the growing, processing, transporting, and study of hemp by those licensed by the AZDA. The law takes effect in summer 2019.
Legal Status of Other U.S. States
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice. Although we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Therefore, any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.With more states legalizing the use of marijuana it can be hard to stay up to date on Arizona marijuana laws. Click to learn more about marijuana laws in AZ!
Is CBD oil legal in Arizona?
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- What is CBD?
- Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
- Arizona CBD laws
- Where to buy CBD in Arizona
- How to read CBD labels and packaging
Cannabis-derived products, including CBD, were legalized for eligible Arizona medical marijuana patients in 2010. Adult-use cannabis remains illegal following a failed initiative in 2016.
While the guidelines for the cultivation and production of industrial hemp in Arizona were outlined in 2018 Senate Bill 1098, the state’s CBD market is relatively unregulated at present due to the absence of specific state law. As a result, CBD remains relatively easy to purchase—so long as the CBD was derived from industrial hemp plants that conform with federal requirements.
What is CBD?
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and the second-most prominent in the plant after THC, which is largely responsible for producing an intoxicating high. CBD can be sourced either from marijuana or hemp plants and has a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
To date, researchers have identified a number of potential applications linked to CBD, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and anti-seizure properties. Further, the chemical has shown promise in treating numerous health conditions, including seizure disorders, mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis, chronic pain, and many more.
Most raw cannabis strains on the market today contain small amounts of CBD, especially compared with THC. But since the cannabinoid has gained considerable attention for its wide range of purported therapeutic benefits, more high-CBD strains have recently been cultivated.
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
All types of cannabis, including hemp strains that don’t produce enough THC to cause intoxication, were considered illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The law categorized all cannabis as Schedule 1, which defined the plant as a highly addictive substance with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
The 2018 Farm Bill re-classified hemp as an agricultural commodity and made its cultivation federally legal. Further, the act removed some forms of cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. This distinction in federal law effectively legalized CBD that is derived from cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, as long as it has been cultivated according to federal and state regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill legislation does not mean that CBD derived from hemp is universally legal throughout the United States. According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to regulate CBD product labeling, including therapeutic claims and the use of CBD as a food additive.
The FDA has declared that even hemp-derived CBD may not legally be added to food and beverages, or marketed as a dietary supplement. Although the organization has begun to re-evaluate some of its stances on legal CBD products, the FDA has not revised its regulations. The agency also has been strict in its position against any labeling that could be perceived as a medical claim about CBD.
In addition to the federal regulation of CBD, the Farm Bill also gave states the option to regulate and prohibit the cultivation and commerce of CBD. States may also regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently, even before the FDA finalizes its policies.
Arizona CBD laws
To date, Arizona lawmakers have not created specific regulations for hemp-derived CBD products; rather, the state’s hemp legislation makes subtle references to CBD products.
The Arizona State Legislature passed SB 1098 in May 2018. This bill allows the state to establish and regulate a program for growing, harvesting, processing, researching, and selling industrial hemp. There are several critical provisions within this bill, although ambiguously worded, that have come to define Arizona’s stance on CBD.
Firstly, ‘industrial hemp’ is defined as a cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. The law also makes an important distinction that any part of the plant that meets this definition is by extension allowable.
The second key provision is the bill’s reference to hemp products. SB 1098 expresses that Arizona’s industrial hemp program is designed to research the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp, hemp seeds, and hemp products. ‘Hemp products’ are defined as all products formulated from a legal industrial hemp plant. This wording also implies CBD products derived from an industrial hemp plant.
Ultimately, Arizona law has made no explicit rulings either way on the specific issue of hemp-derived CBD. But recent legislation such as SB 1098, combined with the 2018 Farm Bill, have in practice established the precedent that hemp-derived CBD oil and other CBD products will not be prosecuted by the law.
CBD products derived from cannabis are legal for medical patients registered in Arizona’s medical marijuana program. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
CBD products derived from cannabis are legal for medical patients registered in Arizona’s medical marijuana program.
Licensing requirements for CBD
Individuals who wish to cultivate, harvest, transport, process hemp, or open a hemp plant nursery in Arizona must first apply for a license issued by the Arizona Department of Agriculture. Applicants must complete the application form, provide a copy of a Level I Fingerprint Clearance Card, and pay the applicable fee for the license they are seeking. Licenses are to be renewed annually.
Growers must submit pre-planning reports before planting, reports within seven days of planting, and notify the Department of Agriculture within 14 days before harvest to schedule an inspection and take samples for THC testing.
Individuals who are selling, manufacturing, or marketing hemp or CBD oil products do not require a license from the Department of Agriculture. The Department’s oversight only reaches to the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp.
Arizona CBD possession limits
The state of Arizona has not yet established limits for hemp-derived CBD possession.
There are possession limits, however, for patients registered with Arizona’s medical marijuana program. Registered patients can purchase cannabis products containing both THC and CBD at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. Patients are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis over a 14-day period.
While Arizona has no explicitly stated penalties for those found in possession of cannabis-derived CBD, there are penalties for those found with cannabis in their possession.
Individuals found with less than two ounces may be charged with a felony, receive a sentence of 4 months to two years, and a maximum fine of $150,000.
Individuals found with 2 to 4 ounces in their possession may be charged with a felony, receive a sentence of 6 months to 2.5 years, and a maximum fine of $150,000.
Individuals found with more than 4 ounces in their possession may be charged with a felony, receive a sentence of 1 to 3.75 years, and a maximum fine of $150,000.
Where to buy CBD in Arizona
Currently, you can buy CBD oil and other CBD products both online and in storefronts throughout Arizona. These shops include convenience stores, health food stores, organic stores, coffee shops, and CBD-specific retailers.
Currently, you can buy CBD oil and other CBD products both online and in storefronts throughout Arizona. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
When it comes to online sales, CBD is most frequently found on brand-specific websites. You can also find verified CBD brands on Weedmaps.
Reputable brands will generally provide you with essential product details, including the form of the CBD (such as oil, capsules, topicals, tinctures, etc.), the quantity of CBD the product contains, the other chemicals or ingredients present in the product, and more.
When purchasing from a brick and mortar shop, particularly if the store specializes in CBD, you can typically receive guidance from an employee. Explain what you’re looking for, your reasons for consuming CBD, and they can point you in the right direction.
How to read CBD labels and packaging
The 2018 Farm Bill shifted the oversight of hemp and hemp-derived products from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA does not presently allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t yet provided regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.
Still, the agency warns that regulations in flux still require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Buyers should nonetheless approach CBD products with caution. Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:
- Amount of active CBD per serving.
- Supplement Fact panel, including other ingredients.
- Net weight.
- Manufacturer or distributor name.
- Suggested use.
- Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate.
- Batch or date code.