Last November, 60% of Arizonans voted to legalize, tax, and regulate recreational cannabis. With that, anyone over the age of 21 has the right to possess, consume, and cultivate cannabis – though, there are a few details in the law to keep in mind.
With 73 dispensaries gaining recent approval for recreational sales, it’s likely newcomers to this industry have some questions. Throughout this article, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know concerning recreational cannabis in Arizona.
Legalized, But with Limitations
Just as with any legal state, Arizonans aren’t allowed to smoke cannabis as they see fit. There are a number of rules and regulations surrounding possession and consumption that should be considered before diving into the market.
Most importantly, you must be 21 years of age or older and you can only hold up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower at a time. Any amount above this is considered a crime and is punishable with fines and potentially jail time (depending on the amount in possession).
While recreational dispensaries are still in the early works – you’re technically only allowed to purchase from them. I use the term “technically” because cannabis in your possession is legal no matter how you got it. However, selling cannabis without a license remains illegal and those distributing can face hefty consequences.
Once you do have cannabis in your possession, the only place you’re allowed to consume it is private property – including your home or a friend’s home. A number of cities are already approving of additional restrictions on consuming cannabis – for example, some landlords may have the option to refuse tenants from consuming cannabis on the property.
It’s important to consider the Smoke-Free Arizona law that applies to vaping and cigarettes as it also is applicable for cannabis products. This means you can’t smoke in places such as hotel rooms and bars.
Not to mention, it’s 100% illegal to consume cannabis within your car as this is considered a public place. If a police officer suspects you are driving under the influence of cannabis, they have a right to pull you over and charge you appropriately.
Arizona residents are now allowed to grow up to 6 plants of marijuana per person in a household as long as that household does not exceed 12 plants. There are some additional rules concerning cultivation depending on your city – for example, some cities don’t allow cannabis to be grown in public view.
Not to mention, if you live under a landlord, it’s up to them as to whether or not you can grow marijuana. Landlords still have a right to evict tenants that consume or cultivate cannabis.
Cannabis and Employment
Now that cannabis is legal, there are no consequences for consuming it. However, employers still have the right to hire or fire employees based on their cannabis consumption habits.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t limited to cannabis – other drugs and even alcohol are enough of a reason for employers to get rid of employees.
With that, we definitely suggest keeping the habit on the downlow. While there’s nothing wrong with going to a dispensary and enjoying some recreational cannabis, there could be major issues if consumption effects your work performance.
The only exception to this rule is for those who hold a medicinal marijuana card – the law protects these individuals from being hired or fired simply for consuming cannabis.
It’s still worth investing in a medicinal card if you struggle with a particular health condition. Beyond law protection, medicinal marijuana patients are allowed more cannabis in their possession.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I purchase recreational cannabis?
Purchasing recreational cannabis is very similar to purchasing alcohol. The key difference is only licensed dispensaries are allowed to supply cannabis to the public. When you visit a dispensary, you’ll need a government-issued ID. It’s important to remember, most dispensaries will only conduct sales in cash.
Can I mail cannabis?
No! The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t allow federally controlled substances to be mailed.
Can I possess cannabis and a firearm?
Yes! Under Arizona law: “Persons lawfully in possession or control of controlled substances” are allowed to possess a gun.
Can smoking cannabis harm my lungs?
According to the American Lung Association, inhaling any kind of smoke can cause damage to your lungs – this includes cannabis smoke.