Medical and Recreational Cannabis

Since the passing of 2021’s Safe and Smart Act, Arizona’s laws and policy surrounding medical and recreational cannabis possession have been confusing to some. On this page, we make the distinctions easy to understand.

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Medical Patients

In November 2010, Arizona voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) making it possible for patients to legally obtain marijuana for medicinal purposes. In the State of Arizona, an AZ MMJ card, provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services, is required in order to purchase marijuana as a medical patient. 

The process of acquiring a card can vary in price depending on your particular prescribing doctor, but will include a fee of $75-150 for your initial registration, as well as for each renewal. Once obtained, your MMJ card is valid for two years, after which point renewal will be available.

As a medical patient, you are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces (70.83 grams) of marijuana every two weeks. This can include no more than 12.5 grams of cannabis concentrate, which is also the legal limit for a person to possess at any one time.

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Recreational Customers

In November 2020, Prop 207 passed, allowing for recreational use of marijuana in the State of Arizona. As of April 5, 2021, adults 21 and older are able to legally purchase marijuana from any licensed dispensary operating in the state. However, there are limitations to consuming marijuana recreationally, which are not present for patients of medical marijuana. 

The main difference in shopping recreationally as opposed to being a medical patient pertains to the amount of cannabis each are able to purchase. Whereas medical patients can purchase up to 2.5 ounces in a two-week timeframe, recreational patients are limited to 1 ounce. 

Additionally, recreational patients are taxed at a higher rate than medical patients. In particular, rec patients are on the hook for a 16% state excise tax, in addition to the 5.6% sales tax to which medical patients are also beholden

When it comes to edibles, it’s worth further noting that recreational consumers are limited to 10mg of THC per piece, and a total of 100mg per package, while medical patients can purchase edibles in dosages up to 1,000mg. 

These are the main concerns for many Arizonans with questions about differences between medical and recreational cannabis in the state. For more information about the state’s medical program, or to make an appointment to obtain your medical card, visit the site below.

Get your AZ MMJ card

In navigating the ever-evolving world of both medicinal and recreational cannabis in, Arizona consumers find a haven at GreenPharms. Here, not only are the legalities and nuances of cannabis use demystified, but also a rich tapestry of high-quality products and informed guidance is provided. Whether you seek relief, recreation, or a blend of both, GreenPharms stands as your knowledgeable ally in this green journey. We invite you to explore our offerings and join our community, where quality, compliance, and customer satisfaction are not just promised – they’re delivered.


GreenPharms is more than just a dispensary. We are a family-owned and operated company that cultivates, processes, and sells high-quality cannabis products in Arizona. Whether you are looking for medical or recreational marijuana, we have something for everyone. From flower, edibles, concentrates, and topicals, to accessories, apparel, and education, we offer a wide range of marijuana strains, products and services to suit your needs and preferences. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to assist you and answer any questions you may have. Visit our dispensaries in Mesa and Flagstaff, or shop online and get your order delivered to your door. At GreenPharms, we are cultivating a different kind of care.

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