Allows registered qualifying patients (who must have a physician's written certification that they have been diagnosed with a debilitating condition and that they would likely receive benefit from marijuana) to obtain marijuana from a registered nonprofit dispensary, and to possess and use medical marijuana to treat the condition. Requires the Arizona Department of Health Services to establish a registration and renewal application system for patients and nonprofit dispensaries.
Requires a web-based verification system for law enforcement and dispensaries to verify registry identification cards. Allows certification of a number of dispensaries not to exceed 10% of the number of pharmacies in the state (which would cap the number of dispensaries around 124). Specifies that a registered patient's use of medical marijuana is to be considered equivalent to the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not disqualify a patient from medical care, including organ transplants.
Specifies that employers may not discriminate against registered patients unless that employer would lose money or licensing under federal law. Employers also may not penalize registered patients solely for testing positive for marijuana in drug tests, although the law does not authorize patients to use, possess, or be impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during the hours of employment.
Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (including epilepsy), severe or persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis). Starting Jan.1, 2015, PTSD will be added to the list.
Possession/Cultivation: 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.
Amended: Senate Bill 1443 (20 KB) Effective: Signed by Governor Jan Brewer on May 7, 2013
"Specifies the prohibition to possess or use marijuana on a postsecondary educational institution campus does not apply to medical research projects involving marijuana that are conducted on the campus, as authorized by applicable federal approvals and on approval of the applicable university institutional review board."
[Note: On Apr. 11, 2012, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced the revised rules (1.1 MB) for regulating medical marijuana and set the application dates for May 14 through May 25.
On Nov. 15, 2012, the first dispensary was awarded "approval to operate." ADHS Director Will Humble stated on his blog that, "[W]e’ll be declining new 'requests to cultivate' among new cardholders in most of the metro area… because self-grow (12 plants) is only allowed when the patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary. The vast majority of the Valley is within 25 miles of this new dispensary."
On Dec. 6, 2012, the state's first dispensary, Arizona Organix, opened in Glendale.]
Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
Medical Marijuana Program
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Information provided by the 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," (150 KB) Mar. 25, 2010
Patient Registry Fee:
$150 / $75 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
Yes, but does not permit visiting patients to obtain marijuana from an Arizona dispensary