America has come a long way since Reefer Madness shocked audiences in 1936, and is currently experiencing a revolution in its treatment of marijuana. At this point, more than half the country has legalized marijuana at least for medicinal use, and several states have legalized recreational use as well. But as states change their marijuana laws, remaining on the right side of those laws takes a bit more care and attention. If you are considering a career delivering medical marijuana, or have been charged with a crime after having done so, it’s best to talk with an experienced drug offense attorney.
Is Marijuana Legal in Arizona?
When Arizona voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) in 2010, they created a conflict with federal law. Although the AMMA creates an infrastructure in Arizona that patients can use to safely and legally obtain and use marijuana for medicinal purposes, marijuana use is still expressly forbidden by federal law. What that means for Arizonans is that while following the marijuana rules and regulations of the State of Arizona should protect you from prosecution by the state and its law enforcement agencies, Arizona law offers no protection from federal law enforcement agencies. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions is currently the chief federal law enforcement official, and he has publically expressed concern about medical marijuana, possibly signaling a coming “crack down” on states that allow marijuana use. Consequently, although scrupulous Arizonan marijuana users shouldn’t face prosecution from state officials, there is still a risk that the federal government will intervene.
Does Arizona Law Allow Medical Marijuana Delivery?
The AMMA does not explicitly address the issue of marijuana delivery. Instead, it establishes a set of requirements for the safe distribution of marijuana to medical patients, and modern technology allows medical marijuana providers to meet each of those requirements in a mobile delivery setting. The requirements are as follows:
Arizona requires all dispensaries, as well as each of their agents and employees, to be registered with the state. That means to legally deliver marijuana in Arizona, the driver must be a registered employee or volunteer of a registered dispensary.
- Deliver ONLY to Registered Patients or Caregivers
In addition to being registered themselves, the dispensary and driver must be sure the recipient of the delivery is legally eligible to receive it. There are two types of people to whom a dispensary may legally deliver medical marijuana: patients who have registered with the state, and “registered designated caregivers,” which are responsible adults who are at least 21 years old and have agreed to assist a medical marijuana patient with his or her treatment; designated caregivers must also be registered with the state, and can have no more than 5 patients under their care.
To legally deliver marijuana to a registered patient or caregiver, the driver must verify that:
- the recipient has a valid registry identification card;
- the recipient is in fact the person identified on the registration card; and
- delivering the marijuana would not put the patient or caregiver in possession of an amount of marijuana in excess of the amounts allowed by the AMMA.
- Record the Delivery
In addition to verifying that the recipient is eligible to receive the marijuana, before delivering the marijuana the driver or dispensary must record the transaction in the state verification system. Specifically, the following information is required to be provided to the state:
- the amount of marijuana delivered;
- the date and time of the delivery;
- whether the delivery was made to the patient or designated caregiver; and
- the identification number of the dispensary and that of the driver.
Arizona law does permit dispensaries to make deliveries, so long as those deliveries are made in accordance with the AMMA and other Arizona law. If your dispensary has questions about making deliveries or other issues related to medical marijuana, it’s important to get help from an experienced attorney. Our firm has been helping Arizonans successfully defend their use of marijuana for years, even before it was legal, and has been at the forefront of promoting patients’ legal rights since the AMMA was passed. If you need to speak with an attorney, call us today to schedule your free legal consultation.