Articles Posted in Arizona marijuana lawyer

Arizona marijuana attorneys are asking the state supreme court to side with their argument that the state’s medical marijuana law makes no distinction between cannabis edibles, liquids, dried flowers or leaves. The appeal follows a decision by the Arizona Court of Appeals, which upheld the marijuana possession conviction of a man found with 0.05 ounces of hashish, for which he was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison (for drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia). Defendant had obtained the hashish (cannabis plant resin) and jar from a legal dispensary in Maricopa County.criminal defense

The state allows regulated dispensaries to distribute medical edibles and liquids to be sold for medical use. The 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allowing one to obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana twice a month, something more than 174,000 people qualify. Defendant’s attorneys are arguing that the active medicinal ingredient in the plant is the resin, and that the law doesn’t expressly exclude certain parts of the plant. There is no provision that says only the flower or only the leaves are allowed. The law defines marijuana broadly to include all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plants.

In State v. Jones, both sides disagreed as to whether hashish was included within the immunities of AMMA. Citing a previous state supreme court case from the late 1970s, the appeals court noted the legislature recognizes marijuana and hashish as two distinct forms of cannabis, and that the differing forms of treatment between marijuana and hashish have to do with its potency and rendering it susceptible to “serious and extensive abuse.” The state’s medical marijuana law makes no mention of hashish one way or another. Continue reading

Every state that allows the use of medical marijuana has their own regulatory scheme and requirements pertaining to how patients are able to access this much-needed medicine.  For example, anyone who needs medical marijuana in California must go to a doctor and get a recommendation letter.  Once they have a recommendation letter, they can register as a patient with a medical marijuana dispensary and are then are eligible to obtain medical cannabis. Because every state has different regulations, the concept of medical marijuana reciprocity becomes important.  This is when a registered patient in one state goes to another state and needs to get their medicine there.

cannabis businessThis may seem like a novel concept, but it should not be anywhere near as controversial as it has become.  If a patient is taking a drug manufactured by a big pharmaceutical company and runs out of it while on vacation, they can simply go to a pharmacy location in their current jurisdiction and ask to have their prescription transferred there. This can be done permanently, or on a one-time basis, no questions asked. Typically, this is not how things work for medical marijuana patients because many states allow only residents to obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary located there. This creates obvious problems. One way to address this is by allowing medical marijuana reciprocity whereby a patient registered in one state, can travel to another state and use their home-state registration to obtain medical cannabis products. Continue reading

Some prosecutors in Arizona say card-carrying medical marijuana users in the state will be forced to make a decision: Your marijuana or your driver’s license.
They contend that any driver found with any amount of marijuana in their blood can be charged with driving under the influence. The fact that one has a valid medical marijuana recommendation, approved by a doctor and sanctioned by the state, will not be considered an adequate defense.

Our Arizona marijuana lawyers are incensed by this approach, which not only flies in the face of science and the underlying spirit of traditional DUI law, but also denigrates the credibility of the prosecutor’s office.
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Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries were supposed to have been open by now.

Their deadline, per the state’s Department of Health Services, was Aug. 7, or else they would have to forfeit the licenses they were awarded in last year’s lottery.
However, as our Arizona marijuana attorneys understand it, a superior court judge has granted these operations extensions in order to give them more time to organize before opening.

This is going to save many dispensaries, which had run into legal roadblocks from local government entities, which had significantly slowed the opening process. Because of this, many feared they would have to give up everything they had worked for up to this point. In some ways, it seemed as if anti-marijuana advocates had won.

However, the superior court judge ultimately ruled that the deadline was “unreasonable.”

Still, dispensaries are going to have to apply to the health department to have those licenses renewed. A renewal might not be a given though, if the director’s comments are any indication. He was quoted as saying that the agency would begrudgingly comply with the order, as it wasn’t one with which he personally agreed.

Arizona dispensaries would do well to ensure they have adequate legal representation as they continue to navigate the process.

Dispensary owners say they would have had no issue opening by the initial deadline, had they not met with such fierce resistance from local authorities. This was a factor that the health department, when it initially set the guidelines, did not anticipate.

The deadline represented a one-year time frame from the time an application was approved.

In all, nearly 100 organizations that were granted at first granted permission to distribute the drug to specified patients in storefront facilities would not have been able to meet that deadline.

This extension represents the second one for dispensaries in the state. Previously, the deadline had been June.

From a legal standpoint, the judge noted that there was no process whatsoever for a would-be dispensary operator to secure an extension, even with good reason.

The judge ruled that the state health agency needs to draft new rules that will allow for an appellate process for those who can’t meet the deadlines as listed. Until those new rules are in place, the judge said, no authorization already granted can be rescinded.

Now, once those rules are in place, it’s entirely possible that authorizations for extensions could be revoked by the agency. But the processes all have to be fully fleshed out before that can happen, the judge ruled.

This ruling will affect some 17 municipalities, including Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Mohave County and Benson.

Three years ago, voters in Arizona approved a measure that allows those with certain medical conditions to obtain marijuana for medicinal purposes, so long as they are able to secure a doctor’s recommendation. A prescription will be the basis for a state-issued identification card. That allows the patient up to 2.5 ounces of the drug twice a month.

So far, an estimated 40,000 patient applications have been approved, with about 125 dispensaries approved for state licenses. The dispensaries are authorized to cultivate and distribute the drug to both patients and caregivers.
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