The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that patients who use medical cannabis are protected from police arrest for possession of cannabis extracts as long as they do not exceed the legally allowed quantity of the drug.
The landmark decision reversed a previous ruling by a lower court that put medical cannabis patients in a problematic position where the use of concentrates is concerned. The lower court decision saw patients facing arrest for possession of hashish because the drug is not mentioned or included by name under the terms of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
Now, the Supreme Court has voted unanimously (7-0) in favor of the medical cannabis community and the state voters by putting an end to the confusion on the issue of cannabis extracts and concentrates.
The decision by the state’s highest court concluded that registered patients are immune to prosecution when it comes to concentrates and extracts like hashish and cannabis oil. It has explicitly defined cannabis as including concentrates under Arizona’s 2010 voter-approved medical cannabis law.
According to the Supreme Court’s decision, “We hold that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act’s definition of marijuana includes both its dried leaf/flower form and extracted resin, including hashish.”
Medical cannabis in Arizona
Arizona voters had approved the state’s medical cannabis program in 2010. Currently, there are over 200,000 patients and more than 100 dispensaries participating in this program.
Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, concentrates were very popular among the patients. In fact, according to the Phoenix Times, patients brought around 2.5 tons of concentrates in 2018.