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Marijuana Cultivation Charges in Arizona

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According to Arizona law, the only people that are allowed to cultivate cannabis are those registered as nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and those qualifying patients who live further than 25 miles from a dispensary. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), only those dispensaries that are issued an approval by the ADHS can dispense marijuana for medical purposes.

The laws detailing criminal cultivation and penalties can be found in Chapter 27 of the Arizona Statutes, Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana (cannabis) is classified as a Schedule I drug according to the statutes. According to § 36-2531 of the statutes, it is a violation of the law to intentionally or knowingly manufacture an unauthorized controlled substance.

Marijuana cultivation penalties will differ depending on variables. One variable is the amount of marijuana that was being cultivated. If the amount was small, then the offense may be charged as a misdemeanor, but if there was an excessive amount of cannabis, then the offense may be charged as a felony.

Another variable is intention. Was the marijuana for personal use or for sale? If the marijuana was for sale, then the penalties may increase. There are many legitimate reasons for cultivating cannabis. The major reason why Arizona passed the medical marijuana act was so that patients could gain access to this natural form of therapy.

Authorized Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

There are special zoning and authorization requirements for marijuana dispensaries as well as for authorized medical marijuana patients. According to the ADHS, only those with a valid prescription and only those who live further than 25 miles away from a dispensary may cultivate their own marijuana for personal, medical use.

To cultivate medical marijuana for personal use, patients must possess a qualifying patient card. There are many issues that can arise in medical marijuana situations. An individual might move to a location where they no longer have access to a dispensary and so they begin manufacturing their own. Cultivation status might also change throughout the course of time. Individuals may also use a false address in order to be allowed to cultivate their own marijuana.

Cultivation of marijuana without a proper license is a class 4 felony.

If this is a first time felony offense, then a class 4 felony will have the following penalties:

  • Mitigated- 1 year imprisonment
  • Minimum- 1.5 years' imprisonment
  • Presumptive- 2.5 years' imprisonment
  • Maximum- 3 years' imprisonment
  • Aggravated- 3.75 years' imprisonment

A second or subsequent felony offense will classify a person as a repetitive offender of the following categories: category 1 repetitive offender, category 2 repetitive offender and category 3 repetitive offender.

  • Category 1 repetitive offenders convicted of a class 4 felony will face minimum imprisonment of 1.5 years and maximum 3 years' imprisonment.
  • Category 2 repetitive offenders convicted of a class 4 felony will face minimum imprisonment of 3 years and maximum 6 years' imprisonment.
  • Finally, category 3 repetitive felony offenders convicted of a class 4 felony will face minimum imprisonment of 6 years and maximum 12 years' imprisonment.

Time is Of the Essence - Contact Us Today!

Don't let a conviction ruin your life and your future. Speak with a Phoenix marijuana cultivation attorney from Knowles Law Firm, PLC today. Our firm is experienced in drug offenses and is skilled in proven defense tactics.

If you are facing marijuana cultivation charges, don't risk putting your future in the hands of any other firm but Knowles.

To learn more, contact a Phoenix drug crimes lawyer from the firm today.

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