Fun facts about medical and recreational cannabis

Since the passing of Prop 207 in November 2020, legalizing adult use marijuana in Arizona, some may not know the difference between having medical and recreational cards.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there is no age limit for someone purchasing marijuana for medical use once the person has received their medical marijuana card. However, there are different card types depending on the patient’s age. As for purchasing cannabis for adult/recreational use, the customer must be at least 21 years old.

Users cannot purchase more than 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period for medical use. For recreational users, per ADHS and in the statutory provision Prop 207, Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Title 36, Chapter 28.2, the initiative allows adults older than 21 to possess, purchase, transport, or process 1 ounce or less of marijuana or 5 grams or less of marijuana concentrate.

Medical marijuana use qualified patients can only possess the “allowable amount of marijuana,” 2 1/2 ounces.

For recreational use, per A.R.S 36-2853(A), a “person who possesses an amount of marijuana greater than 1 ounce or less of marijuana, except that not more than 5 grams of marijuana concentrate, but not more than 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana, of which not more than 12 1/2 grams is in the form of marijuana concentrate, is guilty of a petty offense.”

Adult users can possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and no more than 5 grams of concentrate. 

For medical and recreational users, cannabis cannot be used in public or when driving.

According to ADHS, patients and their caregivers can purchase medical marijuana from a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary and it can only be sold by a licensed nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. 

Adults can purchase marijuana from a licensed marijuana establishment. Only licensed marijuana establishments may sell adult-use cannabis.

Here’s the difference regarding paying tax on cannabis purchases. There is no excise tax on medical use marijuana. Those who purchase recreational marijuana will have to pay a 16% excise tax, making great revenue for Arizona.

Employees are protected against discrimination if they’re using cannabis for medical reasons, and they are registered users. However, with recreational users, the employer has “the right to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.” (See A.R.S.36-2851).

Now that recreational marijuana use has passed, revenue for Arizona that has been collected for medical and adult usage. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, more than $34.1 million was collected in medical use sales in August. For the same month, recreational use garnered $68.4 million. Total tax collection for medical marijuana sales in August was $2.8 million and adult use tax collected in August was $5.7 million. 

For more information, visit azdhs.gov or azleg.gov.  

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