AZ Medical Marijuana Act (A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 28.1)

In November 2010, voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. The Act allows for qualifying patients to apply for registry identification cards to obtain medical marijuana for certain debilitating medical conditions. Qualifying patients may also choose to designate a caregiver to assist them with the use of medical marijuana.

Qualifying patients may obtain medical marijuana from their caregiver, other qualifying patients, or a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. With permission from ADHS, qualifying patients or their caregivers may cultivate marijuana if the patient lives more than 25 miles from a dispensary.

In order to operate, a dispensary must have a Dispensary Registration Certificate and Approval to Operate from ADHS. A total of 98 Dispensary Registration Certificates have been allocated and are in the process of being issued throughout Arizona.

Dispensaries have roughly 1 year from August 7, 2012 to obtain Approval to Operate from ADHS.

 Did You Know:

  • Smoking medical marijuana is prohibited on any form of public transportation or in any public place
  • Cultivation of medical marijuana must be done in an enclosed, locked facility
  • All licensed dispensaries will be regulated and inspected by ADHS
  • ADHS was required to establish a secure, password-protected, web-based verification system for use on a 24-hour basis by law enforcement employees and dispensary agents to verify registry ID cards
  • All employees and volunteers of a dispensary must have a dispensary agent registry ID card

Who is eligible for a medical marijuana registry ID card?

 Qualifying Patients:

Must have one of the following qualifying conditions:

Cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease or A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition (or treatment for) that causes:

Cachexia or wasting syndrome

Severe and chronic pain

Severe nausea


Severe or persistent muscle spasms

Must receive a written certification from an AZ licensed physician (MD, DO, NMD/ND, MD(H)/DO(H))

May obtain up to 2.5 ounces in a 14-day period

May possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana or 12 plants

Designated Caregivers:

Must be at least 21 years of age

Must not have been convicted of an excluded felony offense

May provide care for up to 5 patients

Must have a separate registry ID card for each patient

May grow up to 12 plants for each patient if the patient lives more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary

Qualifying patients may obtain medical marijuana from their designated caregiver, another qualifying patient, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary, or may receive authorization to cultivate if their residence address is located more than 25 miles from a dispensary.