Pima County Cannabis Overview

  1. Arizona Cannabis
  2. Pima County Cannabis

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Pima County?

Cannabis cultivation is legal in Pima County for medical and recreational use. Arizona, Pima County's home state, legalized medical marijuana in 2010 through Proposition 203 (the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act), contained in Title 36, Chapter 28.1 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. As provided in this Act, registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Pima County can legally cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants. In addition, non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries can grow cannabis plants and dispense marijuana products to registered medical marijuana patients in the county. Per the provisions of Proposition 203, medical marijuana patients and caregivers growing marijuana plants in Pima County must lock their cultivation areas to prevent access by unauthorized persons.

Arizona legalized recreational marijuana in 2020 through Proposition 207 (the Smart and Safe Act) contained in Chapter 28.2 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. In line with Section 36.2852 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, adults aged 21 years or older in Pima County can cultivate up to six marijuana plants at home for recreational use. If two or more eligible adults live together, they may grow a maximum of 12 cannabis plants at home. The cultivation areas must be hidden from public view in enclosed spaces and locked to prevent access by minors (persons below 21 years). Also, per Section 36.2850 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, licensed marijuana establishments in Pima County can cultivate cannabis plants and manufacture cannabis products for sale to adults who are 21 years or older. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) regulates cannabis-related activities within the state.

In line with Section 36.2857 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, city and county authorities in Arizona may establish local ordinances to regulate or ban cannabis cultivation operations by marijuana establishments within their jurisdictions. Pima County allows medical marijuana caregivers to grow cannabis plants in rural residential (GR-1) and rural homestead (RH) zoning districts. Also, Pima County permits marijuana cultivation operations by medical marijuana dispensaries and marijuana establishments in general business (CB-2) zoning districts of the county. Their cultivation areas must be at least 2,000 feet away from each other, and 1,000 feet away from schools, school bus stops, childcare centers, public parks, churches, and substance abuse rehabilitation facilities.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Pima County?

Cannabis manufacturing is legal in Pima County for recreational and medical purposes. The provisions of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act permit licensed non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries to manufacture cannabis products for dispensing to registered medical marijuana patients in Pima County. Also, in line with Section 36.2850 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, licensed marijuana establishments in Pima County may manufacture cannabis products for sale to adults aged 21 years or older. Non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries and marijuana establishments in Pima County are prohibited from manufacturing cannabis products in gateway overlay zones or historic zones. Nevertheless, they can manufacture cannabis products in general business (CB-2) zoning districts of the county.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Pima County?

Cannabis retail is legal in Pima County for recreational and medical use. Per the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, licensed non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries can dispense cannabis products to registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Pima County. According to Section 36.2806.02(A)(3) of the Arizona Revised Statutes, a non-profit medical marijuana dispensary cannot dispense more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis to a patient within 14 days.

Per the provisions of Section 36.2850 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, licensed marijuana establishments in Pima County are permitted to sell cannabis products to adults who are 21 years and older. Eligible adults may purchase a maximum of 1 ounce of marijuana from retail cannabis dispensaries. Cannabis dispensaries in Pima County sell various types of cannabis products, including concentrates, topicals, and edibles. Medical marijuana dispensaries and marijuana establishments in Pima County are prohibited from retailing cannabis products in gateway overlay zones or historic zones of the county. However, they can retail cannabis products in general business (CB-2) zoning districts of Pima County.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Pima County?

As provided in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, licensed non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries may deliver cannabis products to registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Pima County. However, according to Section 36.2854(C) of the Arizona Revised Statutes, cannabis delivery for recreational use is currently prohibited in all parts of Arizona, including Pima County.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Pima County

Medical marijuana registry identification cards issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) allow medical marijuana patients in Pima County to legally obtain cannabis products from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. A person must be diagnosed with a severe medical condition before they can qualify for medical marijuana treatment. In line with Section 36.2801 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment in Pima County include:

  • Neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Epilepsy seizures
  • Chronic pain
  • Cachexia
  • Severe muscle spasms
  • Severe nausea

To obtain a medical marijuana registry identification card in Pima County, a patient should schedule an appointment with a licensed physician to know if their medical condition qualifies them for marijuana treatment. If the physician diagnoses a patient with a debilitating medical condition and recommends marijuana treatment for them, they may issue the patient a medical marijuana physician certification form. According to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, a licensed doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathic medicine, naturopathic physician, or homeopathic physician may recommend marijuana treatment for a patient in Pima County.

A person applying for a medical marijuana registry identification card in Pima County should have electronic copies of all the required documents. The required documents include government-issued photo identification, current photograph, completed patient attestation form, and medical marijuana physician certification form. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) provides a document checklist for medical marijuana patient registry card applications.

To apply for a medical marijuana registry identification card in Pima County, a patient should create an account on the ADHS licensing portal, log in to their account, upload the required documents, and pay the non-refundable application fee. A successful applicant will receive an email notification indicating their medical marijuana registry identification card approval and a physical copy of their card in the mail. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) provides detailed instructions for medical marijuana registry identification card applications. Medical marijuana card applicants in Pima County may make card-related inquiries with the AZDHS by calling 1 (602) 1025-542 or visiting the Department at:

Arizona Department of Health Services

150 North 18th Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85007

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Pima County?

According to the April 2022 marijuana sales report published by the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), the amount of cannabis sold at marijuana dispensaries in the state increased by 12.5% between February and April 2022. Also, a marijuana tax collection report released by the Arizona Department of Revenue (AZDOR) shows that the state generated over $2.7 million from recreational marijuana sales in February 2021. This figure increased to $4.3 million in August and $5 million in November 2021. By January 2022, Arizona recorded over $5.3 million worth of revenue from recreational cannabis sales, which increased to $5.5 million in March 2022. In addition, the AZDOR tax collection report showed that the value of taxable marijuana sales made at recreational cannabis dispensaries in Arizona was over $66.1 million in March 2022. This data reveals that counties in Arizona, including Pima County, have benefited economically from marijuana legalization.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Pima County

According to arrest data published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Pima County Sheriff's Office made 1,305 arrests for cannabis possession offenses and 158 arrests for cannabis sales crimes in 2009. In 2010, the year medical marijuana was legalized in Pima County, the Sheriff's Office recorded 936 cannabis possession arrests and 93 cannabis sales arrests. By 2011, the number of arrests for cannabis possession offenses in Pima County increased to 948, while cannabis sales arrest figures decreased to 87. However, by 2013, cannabis possession arrest numbers declined to 837 while the number of arrests for cannabis sales increased to 144. Also, the FBI arrest data revealed that the Pima County Sheriff's Office made 873 cannabis possession arrests and 44 sales arrests in 2018. These numbers declined to 192 possession arrests and nine sales arrests for cannabis-related offenses.

In addition, the FBI arrest data show that the Pima County Sheriff's Office made 1,457 arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses in 2009. This number declined significantly to 1,102 DUI arrests in 2010, 1,003 DUI arrests in 2011, and 888 DUI arrests in 2013. By 2018, the number of DUI arrests made by the Pima County Sheriff's Office decreased to 658, and in 2020, the DUI arrest numbers in the county declined to 440. This data shows that DUI arrest rates in Pima County decreased steadily after medical marijuana legalization. However, the number of arrests for cannabis-related offenses in Pima County did not follow a specific trend after medical marijuana legalization. Recreational cannabis was legalized in Pima County in 2020. However, the FBI crime data does not show arrest figures for DUI and cannabis-related offenses in Pima County after recreational marijuana legalization.

Pima County Cannabis Overview