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Marijuana Cultivation Charges

In short, marijuana cultivation is the process of producing cannabis flowers. As of April 2021, there are a total of 325,946 medical marijuana cardholders in Arizona, with 3,963 of those approved for marijuana cultivation. Additionally, 94% of those cardholders use medical marijuana for chronic pain. 
 
While recreational marijuana use and cultivation is now legal in Arizona, there are still strict rules in place. As a result, breaking those rules can send you to jail time and make you pay a massive fine. If you are facing a cultivation charge, then a marijuana defense lawyer at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group wants to fight for you. Call 602-910-4040 today to tell us your story.

Is Weed Legal in Arizona?

Yes, marijuana is legal for anyone over age 21 because of the passage of Proposition 207 in November 2020. Marijuana is also legal for chronically ill patients of any age who qualify. Presently, adults can have up to one ounce at a time and grow six plants. 

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana

But which conditions qualify for a medical marijuana card in Arizona? 
  • Alzheimer’s
  • ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV or AIDS
  • PTSD
  • Any chronic condition that includes these symptoms:
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome), causing general weakness and wasting of the body.
  • Seizures
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Persistent muscle spasms
Qualifying patients must be older than 18 to apply for a medical marijuana card. But to apply for a medical marijuana card, a qualifying minor must do these things:
  • The legal guardian must know the risks and benefits from the patient’s doctor.
  • Two doctors need to provide written certifications for the legal guardian to submit.
  • The legal guardian needs to agree to be the patient’s caregiver. Additionally, the caregiver needs to control the acquisition and dosage of marijuana.

Arizona Marijuana Laws

Similarly to every state that allows marijuana use, Arizona has strict laws set in place.

Marijuana Possession Laws

While adults can have up to one ounce of marijuana at a time, patients of chronic illness can have up to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) in a two week period. Additionally, adults can have cannabis-infused products with no more than five grams in concentrate form. Presently, Arizona allows marijuana flowers, edibles, topicals, salves, and capsules, and consumption accessories.

Laws for Smoking Medical Marijuana 

Smoking marijuana in any public place isn’t allowed, but consuming edibles in public is legal for patients. Patients and adults can smoke in private unless they’re doing so in a place banning tobacco smoking.

Laws for Medical Marijuana Use in the Workplace

Meanwhile, Arizona employers can’t discriminate against a cardholder when hiring, firing, or penalizing them. The only exception is when an employer is at risk of losing federal benefits by not doing so. Additionally, a positive drug test can’t be held against a cardholder unless they used, possessed, or were high on marijuana while at work. Cardholders also can’t have or use medical marijuana on school property or in jail.

Laws for Operating Heavy Machinery While Impaired by Marijuana

Operating a vehicle, plane, or boat while impaired by marijuana is illegal in Arizona. But it’s legal for drivers and passengers to consume marijuana in any type of vehicle.

Laws for Marijuana Cultivation

Registered patients can grow 12 marijuana plants as long as there is no dispensary within 25 miles of their house. Meanwhile, adults can grow up to six plants at their house. However, a household with two or more adults can grow up to 12 plants. Lastly, all marijuana plants must be grown out of public view.

Marijuana Dispensary Laws

You don’t need a medical marijuana card to enter a dispensary, however, dispensaries can still ask for cards at the door. Additionally, patients who want to buy more than one ounce must show their medical marijuana card.

Laws for Buying CBD Oil in Arizona

Anyone can buy CBD oil in Arizona because CBD oil doesn’t cause a high, rather it promotes relaxation and pain relief. In order to cause a high, the oil it must have THC in it.

Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Arizona

If an Arizona resident gets caught with more than one ounce of marijuana, they face six months to three years in prison. Additionally, offenders face a minimum fine of $300 and a maximum fine of $150,000.
  • Less than two pounds of marijuana: class 6 felony
  • Two to four pounds of marijuana: class 5 felony
  • Four pounds or more of marijuana: class 4 felony

Penalties for Marijuana Cultivation Charges in Arizona

In Arizona, residents will undeniably face a penalty for growing more than six plants with nine months to seven years in prison or a $150,000 fine. Meanwhile, if probation is granted after conviction, the offender will face 240 hours of mandatory community service.
  • Growing between two to four pounds of marijuana: class 4 felony
  • Growing more than four pounds of marijuana: class 3 felony

Additional Consequences for Marijuana Cultivation

In addition to jail time and paying a fine for marijuana cultivation, Arizona residents can face other consequences as well
  • Losing the right to own a gun
  • Losing the right to vote in elections
  • Possible college admission denial
  • Facing financial strains due to cultivation fines
  • Possibly losing a job
  • Possibly losing a professional license or its suspension

Defenses for Marijuana Cultivation Charges

Although cultivation charges are serious, there are still ways to defend yourself in court with a marijuana defense lawyer.
Lack of Knowledge
Lack of knowledge is a defense option if one family member is cultivating marijuana without notifying the rest of the family, if a defendant was unaware of marijuana being grown on their property (due to hiding it), or in the context of rental houses
Denial of the Right to Counsel
The right to have a criminal defense attorney is one of many fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. While the government doesn’t always make counsel available to those who can’t afford it, defendants still have the right to choose an attorney. As a result, denial of this right will reverse the defendant’s conviction according to the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
This defense works for a marijuana cultivation charge if police don’t allow you to speak to an attorney but continue to question you.
Miranda Rights Violation
This defense works in your favor if police forced or tricked you into making a confession against your will. If this defense is successful in a cultivation case, a marijuana defense lawyer can suppress the evidence as a result of the police’s behavior. As a brief refresher, here are your four Miranda rights:
  • The right to remain silent
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in court
  • You have the right to an attorney
  • If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you
For these reasons, you can choose not to answer an officer’s questions.
Damaging Errors in Police Work
A marijuana defense lawyer can also analyze police work to find damaging errors. This includes improper photo lineups, sloppy police reports, false statements, flawed crime scene reconstruction, and incorrect DNA testing. Errors like this can help a marijuana defense lawyer exclude evidence which raises your chances of winning your case.

Phoenix Drug Crime Attorneys

Having a skilled marijuana defense lawyer from Ybarra Maldonado Law Group is critical in winning a cultivation case. Not only are we on your side for drug crimes, but for DUI’s, theft crimes, immigration cases, and personal injury cases as well. Call us today at 602-910-4040 to set up a free consultation.

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OUR ATTORNEYS

Our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to help guide you in your time of need.

Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado

Attorney, Human Rights Activist, Author
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Jazmin Alagha

Plaintiffs & Personal Injury Litigation
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Juliana Manzanarez

Associate Attorney, Immigration
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