Yuma County allows the commercial and personal cultivation of medical and adult-use marijuana. This is after Arizona passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act and the Responsible Adult Use of Marijuana, Chapters 28.1 and 28.2 under Title 36 - Public Health and Safety of Arizona Revised Statutes. Following state regulations, marijuana may only be cultivated in an outdoor enclosed, locked area equipped with security devices. The site must be surrounded by solid 10-foot walls and a one-inch thick metal gate to prevent unauthorized access by non-cardholders.
Marijuana establishments are licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). These establishments may be (a) a single retail location that cultivates, manufactures, and sells marijuana to consumers, (b) a single off-site cultivation area that may also manufacture marijuana products but not dispense them to consumers, and (c) a single off-site area that only manufactures marijuana products. Additionally, registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries are authorized to acquire, cultivate, manufacture, dispense, and deliver medical marijuana and other supplies to medical marijuana cardholders. Entities may apply for a dual license to be granted with both marijuana establishment and nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary licenses.
Yuma County residents may also cultivate marijuana in their primary residence. Medical marijuana cardholders, both qualified patients and designated caregivers, may only grow medical marijuana if they live 25 miles away from a dispensary. Authorization to cultivate will be granted during card application, and only 12 plants per patient may be grown at all times. Meanwhile, adults aged 21 or older may cultivate six marijuana plants for personal use with a limit of 12 plants per residence, regardless of the number of adults. All personally grown marijuana may not be sold to any marijuana establishment or medical marijuana dispensary.
Yes. Registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed marijuana establishments in Yuma County may manufacture medical and adult-use marijuana. This involves compounding, blending, extracting, infusing, and other activities related to preparing marijuana products, including edibles, ointments, and tinctures. An additional food establishment license is required from establishments manufacturing marijuana-infused edibles.
The ADHS provides recommendations to ensure the safety of extracts, concentrates, and edibles for human consumption by preventing the presence of Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that can release harmful toxins. Dispensaries and cultivation areas must implement a closed-loop system during extraction. Moreover, solvents considered ‘’Generally Recognized as Safe’’ may only be used. It is suggested to irradiate plant materials, refrigerate extracts and concentrates at 41°F or less, or infuse extracts and concentrates into a 190/200 proof alcohol.
As stipulated in Section 36-2860, marijuana products should not resemble the form of a human, animal, insect, fruit, toy, or cartoon. These must be packaged and labeled appropriately without false or misleading information. Lastly, product advertisements must not target minors.
Processing marijuana by adults aged 21 or older in their residence is also legal as long as it is only done manually or mechanically, such as sieving or ice water separation. A limit of five grams of marijuana concentrate may be manufactured personally. Manufacturing paraphernalia essential to cultivating, manufacturing, processing, and consuming marijuana products is also permissible.
Warning labels developed by the ADHS stating that marijuana can endanger pregnant women and unborn children must be included in all marijuana products.
Dispensaries operate in Yuma County for the retail of marijuana. Licensed marijuana establishments with retail stores may dispense adult-use marijuana, while registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries may only dispense medical marijuana. Meanwhile, dual licensees may dispense both. These dispensaries offer flowers, pre-rolls, edibles, extracts, pills, tinctures, beverages, topicals, and accessories.
State laws allow Yuma County residents at least 21 years old to purchase up to one ounce of adult-use marijuana, with the exemption of marijuana concentrate (up to 5 grams). On the other hand, medical marijuana cardholders may purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana every 14 days. Qualifying patients may also purchase adult-use marijuana if they are at least 21 years old and within the allowed limit. Meanwhile, a designated caregiver may only use marijuana if they are also a qualifying patient.
Following Section 36-2806.02, a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent must verify that the qualified patient or designated caregiver has a valid registration through the verification system. After dispensing, the agent must enter into the system the amount of medical marijuana, to whom it was dispensed, the date and time of dispensing, and the registry identification card number of the dispensary and agent.
Yes. The delivery of medical and adult-use marijuana in Yuma County is lawful under Chapters 28.1 and 28.2, although adult-use delivery is still not permissible as of April 2023. This is in accordance with Section 36-2854, where the ADHS is tasked to develop regulations on adult-use delivery on or before January 1, 2025.
If rules and regulations for adult-use delivery become available, deliveries may only be done once an order is confirmed and delivery logs must be accomplished. No extra marijuana products may be brought together with the order. Delivery vehicles must be unmarked and equipped with a GPS, a video surveillance system, and a locked compartment.
For medical marijuana delivery, dispensaries in Yuma County must follow the general reminders under GD-107-PHS-EDC. In addition to the requirements for dispensing medical marijuana, dispensaries must also complete a trip plan, keep a copy during the delivery, use an unidentifiable vehicle, and maintain a means of communication with the dispensary. Furthermore, all marijuana products for delivery must not be visible to the public.
Yuma County residents may apply for a medical marijuana registry identification card if they have any of the following debilitating medical conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, and any chronic medical condition or treatment producing cachexia, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, and severe persistent muscle spasms.
Qualified patients, adults or under 18, must obtain a physician certification 90 days prior to application. The certifying physician may only use the form provided by the ADHS. An additional reviewing physician form accomplished by another physician is required for minor patients.
The application may be completed online once all requirements are available and the application fee has been paid. Once approved, the registry identification card will be mailed to the applicant’s provided address.
Qualified patients may appoint designated caregivers to assist them in using medical marijuana. Online application may be made once the qualified patient’s application has been approved.
The ADHS may be contacted for more information:
Arizona Department of Health Services
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 542-1025
Fax: (602) 542-0883
Following state regulations, sales taxes are imposed on the retail of medical and adult-use marijuana in Yuma County. Beginning May 1, 2023, a 6.712% tax rate will be effective for all medical and adult-use marijuana retail sales in the county. Additionally, each municipality will be imposing the following tax rates:
San Luis: 4.00%
On top of these, a 16% excise tax is also imposed on the retail of adult-use marijuana.
The imposition of tax positively impacts the economy of Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, the state has collected a total of $74,386,954 in marijuana taxes for Fiscal Year 2021 and $255,997,918 for Fiscal Year 2022.
Arizona legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2010 and its adult use in 2020. The following data related to the possession and sale of marijuana in Yuma County are reported by the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office on the FBI Crime Data Explorer:
2009: 55 arrests for possession and two arrests for sale
2012: 39 arrests for possession and one arrest for sale
2015: 66 arrests for possession and two arrests for sale
2018: 101 arrests for possession and one arrest for sale
2021: three arrests for possession and zero arrests for sale
Although recorded crime rates varied throughout the years, an overall decrease was observed from 2009 to 2021 – a positive effect on the county’s crime rates.