Tucson Arizona is one of the sunniest, warmest places in the USA. Although the traditionally warmer months might be unbearable at times, during this time of year, Arizona is a wonderful place to life.
Living in the state also comes with an added benefit – being able to possess, use, grow, and take care of others that have been licensed to use marijuana for medical purposes. However, because marijuana isn’t close to being entirely legal, it’s important for you and everybody else within the state to follow each Tucsons rules, and regulations when it concerns medical cannabis use.
Here are several facts that have been outlines by the city of Tucson, Arizona, that all of its MMJ patients should adhere to closely.
Several years ago, legislation titled The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act was placed into action, which, put simply, lays down the rules for virtually everything related to the medicinal form of the drug.
The official titles of dispensaries and grow sites, respectively, in the state of Arizona are called Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Medical Marijuana Cultivation Locations, respectively.
Dispensaries are only allowed within city zones C-2 and C-3, a tidbit of information useful only for those planning to build or purchase a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in the state of Arizona. As far as the size of medical marijuana dispensaries are concerned, they’re not allowed to exceed 4,000 square feet.
To provide an example, if a Tucson dispensary were shaped in a perfect square and had only one story, its sides couldn’t exceed 200 feet in length. That’s a little less than two-thirds of the size of an American football field. Most stores never have problems with this generous size restriction.
Dispensaries must be housed in permanent locations – those affixed to the ground in a manner in which they can’t be relocated – which don’t include trailers, mobile homes, RVs, or maritime shipping containers.
Dispensaries, unfortunately, can’t operate at all hours of the night, only able to be opened from 7 AM to 10 PM, able to be opened all days of the week, even on Sundays.
Most dispensaries don’t dedicate the entirety of their floor space to customer standing area. As a matter of fact, many of them process the marijuana and even grow it behind their counters. According to the ordinances of Tucson, Arizona, regarding medical marijuana dispensaries, each store must have a minimum standing space of 25% of the total square footage.
They also can’t have drive-through lanes or windows, effectively requiring customers to go inside. Also, they can’t have seating in any outdoor areas, considerate of others that might not want to be around cannabis.
However, medical marijuana dispensaries are, in fact, able to deliver their goods to patients with active licensure and medical approval to use marijuana.
All stores must adhere to the rules outlines by the Arizona Department of Health Services, something that businesses of all kinds – not just marijuana dispensaries – are subject to. Further, all dispensaries must be at least 2,000 feet from other dispensaries, making sure that no areas are crowded with laods of dispensaries. This also helps make sure they can’t engage in price wars, effectively cutting profits and potentially putting dispensaries out of business.
In the city of Tucson, Arizona, it’s important to keep dispensaries away from schools, churches, and other such institutions that otherwise might have concerns about any type of cannabis use. Any school, although not those teaching karate or art, or are otherwise not registered as public, private, or charter schools, cannot be closer than 1,000 feet to the nearest wall of a dispensary. In reference to the school, the dispensary’s distance is measured from the nearest property line, rather than the building itself.
When concerning churches, libraries, and parks, dispensaries can’t be closer than 1,000 feet away. TO help people seeking substance abuse treatment stay clean, they can’t be found closer than 2,000 feet from alcohol or drug treatment facilities.
It’s important to keep in mind that golf courses aren’t considered parks, meaning dispensaries can be located directly adjacent to one, for example.
Cultivation locations can be found both in zones C-2 and C-3, just like dispensaries, although they’re also found in I-1 and I-2 zones, providing growers more leniency than dispensaries themselves.
In concerning the size of grow facilities, they can’t be larger than 3,000 square feet, at least when they’re found in C-2 and C-3 zones. There is currently no size limit for any medical marijuana cultivation locations in zones I-1 and I-2.
Just like dispensaries, grow sites must be fashioned within the walls of a permanent building, not trailers, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, or the like.
Cultivation locations must be segregated from dispensaries, as they can’t be any closer than 2,000 feet away from them, nor can they be that close to other grow sites.
Grow facilities often have secure storage areas, where it’s possible to store large amounts of marijuana, away from criminals and unauthorized personnel. Such secure areas can’t exceed more than 1,000 feet in square footage.
Grow locations can’t be 1,000 feet or less away from schools, churches, library, or parks. Further, they can’t be closer than 2,000 feet from licensed substance abuse treatment facilities.
All the above facts are accurate when considering C-2 and C-3 zones.
I-1 and I-2 zones are considerably more strict, as cultivation locations can’t be any closer than 500 feet from schools. It’s important to keep in mind that medical marijuana cultivation locations can’t sell any retail products to consumers. Rather, they must only provide their products in wholesale quantities to partnered dispensaries or other grow sites. Just like dispensaries, all medical marijuana cultivation locations must be operated in concordance with rules set forth by the Arizona Department of Health Services and other standard-setting bodies.
In the city of Tucson, Arizona, those who provide care to others with help from marijuana plants are formally titled as medical marijuana designated caregivers. They’re allowed to have limited cultivation locations, allowing them to grow cannabis for their patients’ use, rather than being forced to be such medicine from dispensaries, at costs that many people might not be able to afford.
Caregivers are able to grow marijuana at their own residence, rather than that of the patient, for only one patient.
Caregivers that aren’t growing for just one patient may still grow cannabis intended for medical use, although only in the four aforementioned zones: C-2, C-3, I-1, and I-2 zones.
It’s possible that multiple medical marijuana designated caregivers can team up in growing marijuana, although the cultivation area can’t be more than 250 square feet in total size, and that’s when considering the square footage of storage spaces, as well.
All other rules associated with the Arizona Department of Health Services must be followed, except for the fact no cultivation locations can be larger than 250 square feet.
Medical marijuana qualifying patient cultivation locations – whew, what a mouthful – must be in concordance with The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Also, they have to adhere to any guidelines or rules set forth by regulatory bodies, including the Arizona Department of Health Services.
In order to receive approval for a dispensary or cultivation location’s site, the Director of Planning and Development Services must be approved. Doing so without approval can result in negative consequences for individuals or entities that fail to obtain approval.
Site plans for any facilities related to medical marijuana distribution, cultivation, or use must feature every other building or property that’s within 2,640 feet, the same as one-half of a standard, 5,280-foot mile.
Any applicants have to get a letter that’s notarized by a bank or other notary, and must be signed by both the notary and any applicants themselves.
All applicants should keep in mind that the approval process will likely take about one calendar month. They’ll also have to fork over $495 dollars to the City of Tucson, Arizona, to be submitted with the site plan and paper application.