Becoming a Patient in Arizona

Summary

It is legal for a patient with an Arizona registry ID card to use cannabis for medical purposes. Patients who live more than 25 miles from a registered dispensary may also grow cannabis and appoint a designated caregiver for assistance, as long as they receive permission to cultivate.

What's Legal

Registered patients may possess up to two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable cannabis. A patient with permission to cultivate may also have up to twelve (12) plants. Patients who have received permission to cultivate can only grow cannabis in an "enclosed" space, whether it is indoors or outdoors.

If you think you live more than 25 miles from a registered dispensary and want to cultivate your medicine or have a caregiver do it for you, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) provides an interactive Cultivation Boundary Check tool online at http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/cultivation-boundary.

Eligible Conditions

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn's disease
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
  • PTSD
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
    • Severe and chronic pain;
    • Severe nausea;
    • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy;
    • Severe or persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • State law allows a person to request the addition of other conditions to the list of debilitating medical conditions.

Application Process

There is a patient application fee of $150, but this fee can be reduced to $75 with proof of enrollment in SNAP, or food stamps. Application forms and instructions can be found at https://medicalmarijuana.azdhs.gov/.

Doctor

Your doctor can only recommend medical marijuana after your doctor has completed a full assessment of your medical history. Your doctor must be a licensed physician (MD or DO) or a licensed Naturopathic or Homeopathic physician.

Access/ Caregivers

You may designate a caregiver to assist you with acquiring and using medical cannabis, as well as cultivating it if you live in a location that qualifies. Your designated caregiver must be at least twenty-one (21) years old and cannot ever have been convicted for a violent felony, and cannot have a felony conviction for any drug related crimes that happened within the last ten (10) years unless it was a conviction that would not have happened had the Medical Marijuana Act been in place sooner. Patients and designated caregivers are permitted to cultivate cannabis only if there is no dispensary within 25 miles of the patient's home, and they have been granted permission by the state.

A patient can only have one (1) designated caregiver. A designated caregiver with a registry ID card can possess up to twelve (12) marijuana plants if approved to cultivate and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana, keeping in mind that the sum total of medicine and plants between the patient and the designated caregiver may never exceed twelve (12) cannabis plants and two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable cannabis. For instance, if the patient has one (1) ounce of usable cannabis in her possession, and two (2) cannabis plants, the designated caregiver may not exceed one and one-half (1.5) ounces of usable cannabis and ten (10) cannabis plants.

Patients and designated caregivers with permission from DHS can grow cannabis indoors in an enclosed, locked space; patients and designated caregivers can cultivate cannabis outside if they comply with the law, growing the cannabis in an enclosed, locked facility: a closet, room, greenhouse, or other enclosed area equipped with locks or other security devices that permit access only by a cardholder. "Enclosed area" is defined in rule as an outdoor space surrounded by solid 10-foot walls constructed of metal, concrete, or stone that prevent any viewing of the marijuana plants, with a one-inch-thick metal gate.

Consumption

Do not smoke in public or on school grounds. Possession of medical cannabis is not allowed on school grounds or at correctional facilities. No private property owner is required to allow patients to medicate while on their property.

Age Limits

If the person is under 18 years of age, the patient's doctor must examine them, and the patient's parent or guardian must apply on behalf of the patient, and will act as the designated caregiver.

Confidentiality

The department maintains a list of the persons to whom they have issued registry ID cards and is required to verify the identity of patients to local and state law enforcement upon request. This list is confidential. Any dispensary record keeping must be based on registry ID number alone, and will not include the names of patients or designated caregivers.

Housing

No landlord may refuse to lease to or otherwise penalize a person solely for his or her status as a medical cannabis patient or designated caregiver, unless housing the patient would cause the landlord to lose a federal benefit.

Employment

Employers may not rightfully terminate a qualified patient from her/his employment solely because of patient status or a positive drug screen. However, employers are not expected to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace. In addition, an employer may refuse to hire or terminate an employee based on patient status if the employer stands to lose a federal benefit by continuing to employ the patient.

Insurance

Arizona's medical marijuana law does not require a governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider or health care service plan to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.

Out of State Patients

Non-resident patients with state issued IDs from other states are entitled to protection under Arizona law, but are not granted access to the dispensaries. DO NOT EVER travel across state lines with medical cannabis, even if both states have protections for medical cannabis patients.

For more information

Arizona Medical Marijuana Card Registry Office
For issues and questions relating to qualifying patient and designated caregiver applications and cards
(602) 364-1793
Toll-Free (844) 700-7300
M2programsupport@azdhs.gov
Fax: (602) 364-1546

Quick Links:

Arizona Medical Marijuana Program