Arizona has passed Prop. 207, which means individuals aged 21 and older can now legally use recreational marijuana in the state. It also means medical marijuana dispensaries can now sell the product. The bill also addresses a number of other related issues, such as expunging of past records related to marijuana and driving under the influence of cannabis. It’s essential for individuals to understand the contents of this proposition so they can take full advantage of it without crossing any lines.
What Is Considered Legal Possession
As of November 30, any adult aged 21 or older can legally have marijuana in their possession, but there are limits. Each adult can carry up to an ounce of marijuana with no more than five grams in a concentrated form. Any amounts above this limit are still considered illegal.
Who Can Grow Marijuana
Prop. 207 also addresses an individual’s ability to grow their own marijuana. The bill limits the number of marijuana plants an individual can have at six plants. However, in homes with more than one adult, the home can legally grow as many as 12 plants before exceeding the limit.
Where Can You Buy Marijuana
The new proposition addresses where individuals can legally buy their marijuana if they choose not to grow it themselves. Medical dispensaries that wish to sell marijuana products to customers must apply with the Department of Health starting in January. These dispensaries will receive a license to sell the products within 60 days of their application. For this reason, it won’t be until March when individuals who have a medical marijuana card will be able to make a retail purchase. While delays may occur, the medical dispensaries in the state are hopeful to be in business by no later than April 20. As part of the measure, there is a stipulation that medical dispensaries in good standing can start selling products without a license if those licenses have not yet been issued by April 5.
When Can a Previous Marijuana Felony Be Expunged
Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of Prop. 207 is the ability to expunge a previous felony related to marijuana possession. Starting on July 17, individuals who previously were charged with or convicted of possessing two and a half ounces or less of marijuana with no more than 12.5 ounces of concentrated products, had six plants or were in possession of marijuana paraphernalia can file for an expungement from their record. The burden of proof that the previous crime doesn’t meet the qualifications for expungement lies on the prosecuting agency. If they are unable to clearly prove it doesn’t qualify, the petition will be approved. The Phoenix defense attorney is expecting thousands of these cases to pass through the hands of the Arizona justice system based on data that shows more than 10,000 marijuana cases each year. Getting these records expunged will eliminate the difficulty these individuals have faced getting a job with a record.
What About Taxes
In addition to the usual sales tax, the Prop. 207 bill demands a 16% additional tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. These taxes are estimated to bring an additional $250 to 300 million into the state. These taxes will cover the additional administrative costs for DHS, as well as to law enforcement. Any additional funds will go to the local community colleges.
What Will Be Available in Dispensaries
Marijuana dispensaries will continue to offer the flowers, concentrates, edibles and other products they have provided to medical marijuana customers for recreational use. However, the bill offers some additional restrictions for recreational users. For instance, the potency of edibles is limited to 10mg of THC per serving and 100mg per package. Edibles also cannot be in shapes that appeal to children, such as animals, humans, cartoons, insects, fruits or toys. Products also can’t carry names that appeal to children. Vape pens and concentrated marijuana products will be available for recreational users.
Can You Drive While Under the Influence of Marijuana
Driving, flying or boating while under any level of marijuana influence remains illegal under Prop. 207. However, individuals won’t be considered guilty simply because they test positive for marijuana metabolites. These metabolites can stay in the system for weeks after use, which can trigger a positive result, even if you are no longer experiencing the effects. Therefore, you must be suffering from a level of impairment to be considered guilty of operating under the influence. Roadside tests and erratic or inattentive driving will be used to establish guilt.