Arizona medical marijuana laws allow some patients to grow their own cannabis to treat their qualifying medical condition.
But is growing marijuana in Arizona easy? Why do even many people who have the option to grow their own cannabis still buy from dispensaries?
Do Arizona medical marijuana laws let me grow my own cannabis?
Technically, yes. Growing medical marijuana is legal in Arizona. At least, it is if you are a qualifying medical marijuana patient or a patient’s caregiver. There is one major stipulation though:
- You must live at least 25 miles away from your closest licensed marijuana dispensary.
- Given the number of dispensaries in the state these days – the state has around 130 licenses currently either in use or available – be sure to check carefully whether you have one within 25 miles of you if you are even considering medicinal marijuana growing.
- That 25-mile radius covers over 95% of qualifying medical marijuana patients in the state. This means only 5% of all qualifying patients can even apply to grow their own cannabis – and you need to clearly state that that is what you intend to do when you fill in your medical marijuana application.
Are there any stipulations to this medical marijuana “grow” license?
It’s really more of a box being ticked on your application form (and a check that you qualify from the Arizona Department of Health Services) than a true medical marijuana grow license, but – on top of the 25-mile limit – yes, there are stipulations:
- You can grow up to 12 plants.
- You must grow your plants inside an “enclosed” and “locked” facility, such as a “closet, room, greenhouse” or a similar sort of facility that can only be accessed by a key holder.
Is it easy to grow cannabis in Arizona?
Growing cannabis can be pretty tough. Growing good-quality cannabis that will give you the same effect when imbibed as the medical marijuana you can buy in your local dispensary…
Well, that’s a whole other ball game.
To begin with, you’ll need to:
1) Research the right strain to grow
Remember that there are many different strains of cannabis. In addition to your own personal preferences and the effect that you want to get from imbibing, there are other considerations to bear in mind here.
Different strains of weed grow better depending on:
- Whether you plan to grow them outdoors in a greenhouse or indoors where the environment can be more tightly controlled
- The amount of light the plants will be growing in
- The temperature the plants will be growing in
- The type of soil you have
This makes choosing investigating and selecting the right for your situation vital.
2) Invest in some high-quality equipment
As with most things in life, if you want to get decent results, you need decent equipment.
You can be as basic or as professional as you want to be with this. But some of the key pieces of equipment which even basic cannabis cultivators will need include:
- The components you need to build or secure the environment you will be growing in
Nutrients and fertilizers
- The seeds of your chosen strain
- Planting equipment and tools
If you want to get started making cannabis concentrates for your vaporizer or other delivery system, you will need more equipment.
(You’ll also need to learn about the processes involved carefully as it can be very dangerous to try to make concentrates in your own home.)
3) Get the know-how
As you might expect from a plant which isn’t native to Arizona, growing marijuana even in strictly controlled artificial conditions in the state isn’t as easy planting the seeds and hoping they’ll do the business for you.
You need to learn how to properly care for and cultivate your plants to ensure that you get a solid regular crop.
Why do people still buy from dispensaries if home growing is possible?
Apart from the fact that only 5% of medical marijuana patients qualify for the home-growing option because of the ways medical marijuana laws in Arizona are set up, there’s also the time, effort and money involved.
Plus, there’s one more important fact on top…
Unlike when you buy some cannabis vape oil or a pack of marijuana in your local dispensary and you see the purity percentage on the label, home-grown cannabis is never tested for purity. This means that:
You don’t know what you’re getting – because there is no test of purity, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get unexpectedly weak, potent or an unusual effect when imbibing cannabis you’ve grown at home.
The quality is often poor – most first-time growers are basically experimenting to see what happens, meaning home-grown strains are often quite poor.
For an example of both of the above, consider the two different examples of going into your local dispensary to buy some CBD or THC oil vs. smoking a plant you’ve grown at home…
First of all, using K.I.N.D. Concentrates’ products as an example, high-quality CBD or THC oil often clocks in at 80-90% THC or CBD content.
Of course, you’ll never see even the best dispensary-bought cannabis have a combined total THC level (made up of both the THC and the un-decarboxylated THCA) of anything even approaching a concentrate like this.
But with home-grown cannabis, it won’t matter. Not only will it definitely be weaker than a concentrate, you won’t know how strong it is or what it really is because it hasn’t been tested.
That’s why so many people – even those for whom growing marijuana in Arizona is legal – continue to buy from their local licensed dispensaries.