Marijuana Cultivation Attorney Phoenix
Marijuana Cultivation Charges in Arizona
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.
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.
Arizona Marijuana Cultivation Penalties
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 a maximum of 3 years' imprisonment.
Category 2 Repetitive Offenders
Convicted of a class 4 felony will face minimum imprisonment of 3 years and a maximum of 6 years' imprisonment.
Category 3 Repetitive Felony Offenders
Convicted of a class 4 felony will face minimum imprisonment of 6 years and a maximum of 12 years' imprisonment.
Marijuana Cultivation Penalty Variables
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.
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