- In Arizona, the passing of Article SB 1098 legalized industrial hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products(1).
- Marijuana-based CBD products are allowed for licensed patients under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act(2).
- The United States Farm Bill of 2018 has allowed the growth, cultivation, production, and manufacturing of hemp with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)(3).
- The Arizona Department of Agriculture issues a license for individuals who wish to cultivate, harvest, transport, process hemp, or open a hemp plant nursery(4).
Is CBD Oil Legal in Arizona?
In May 2018, industrial hemp with no more than 0.3% THC was legalized when the Arizona State Legislature passed SB 1098(5).
The law was signed by Governor Doug Ducey, providing funding for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s (AZDA) agricultural pilot program.
The said program allows universities and individuals with an AZDA-issued license to begin cultivating industrial hemp.
On the federal level, cannabidiol products with 0.3% or less THC are legal. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the growth, production, and manufacturing of hemp plants(6).
Under the Controlled Substances Act, industrial hemp was also removed from the Schedule I drug category(7).
Despite the legalization of hemp, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns companies that market and sell CBD as dietary supplements(8).
Further research is still needed to prove CBD’s safety and effectiveness in treating various medical conditions, and particularly for special populations, says the FDA.
Arizona CBD Laws
SB 1098 allows the state to establish and regulate programs for the growth, harvesting, processing, research, and sale of industrial hemp(9).
It was found and determined that developing and using industrial hemp can improve Arizona’s economy and agricultural vitality. Industrial hemp production can be regulated to not interfere with the strict regulation of marijuana in the state.
‘Industrial hemp‘ is defined as a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. An important distinction made by the law is that any part of the plant that meets this definition is allowable.
The bill’s second key provision is the reference to hemp products. According to SB 1098, the state’s industrial hemp program is designed to research the growing, cultivating, and marketing of industrial hemp and hemp seeds used in hemp products.
The definition of ‘hemp products’ are all products derived from a legal industrial hemp plant. The wording also implies CBD products formulated from an industrial hemp plant.
Arizona law has made no explicit court ruling on the specific issue of hemp-derived CBD. With recent legislation, such as SB 1098 and the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD oil and other CBD products are legal.
Under Arizona‘s medical marijuana program, CBD products derived from cannabis are allowed for medical use(10).
CBD Possession Limits in Arizona
There are currently no established limits for hemp-derived CBD possession in the state. However, there are possession limits for patients registered with the Arizona medical marijuana program.
Medical marijuana patients can buy cannabis products containing CBD and THC at licensed dispensaries.
Qualified patients should always have their medical marijuana cards, particularly when purchasing at dispensaries.
Under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, patients with a written certification from a physician are allowed to possess and use up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis over 14 days(11).
The qualifying conditions to become a licensed medical marijuana patient include the following(12):
- Severe and chronic pain
- Multiple sclerosis (including severe or persistent muscle spasms)
- Epilepsy or seizures
- Severe nausea
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Individuals found with less than two ounces in their possession may be charged with a Class 6 felony, punishable by a sentence of four months to two years and a maximum fine of $150,000(13).
The possession of two to four ounces may be charged with a Class 5 felony, punishable by a sentence of six months to two and a half years and a maximum fine of $150,000(14).
CBD Licensing Requirements
Before cultivating, harvesting, transporting, processing hemp, or opening a hemp plant nursery in Arizona, individuals must first apply for a license issued by the Arizona Department of Agriculture(15).
Applicants must submit a completed application form, a copy of a Level I Fingerprint Clearance Card, and payment for the applicable fee of the license they are seeking.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not require a license for manufacturing, marketing, or selling hemp or CBD products. The USDA’s oversight only covers the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp.
Hemp growers must submit reports before planting and within seven days of planting. Before harvesting, growers must also notify the Department of Agriculture within 14 days to schedule an inspection and take samples for THC content testing(16).
Buying CBD Legally
How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy
CBD oil comes in tinctures, gummies, capsules, topicals, and vape products. In the state of Arizona, a prescription for these CBD products is not required.
However, there are certain conditions for purchasing CBD oil. First, it should be extracted from sterilized seeds, hemp mature stalks, and stalk fiber.
CBD should also be sourced from legally grown industrial hemp as it contains 0.3% or less THC.
When buying CBD oil, consumers should consider products with the US Hemp Authority Symbol. This seal indicates that products are safe and of high-quality.
An accredited third-party laboratory should test CBD oil products to ensure the absence of pesticides and harmful contaminants.
Consumers should also look for a company’s BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating and accreditation if available. BBB-accredited businesses have been screened for customer service, transparency, and ethical business practices.
According to Statista.com, the estimated CBD sales in Arizona were 134 million US dollars in 2019(17).
Where to Buy CBD Products Legally
Consumers can buy CBD online directly from a brand’s official website. Online stores may have lower prices as they often offer discounts and special offers.
CBD products are also available at health and wellness retailers and dispensaries. Here are some of the places in Arizona where one can purchase CBD products:
- AZ CBD Dispensary – Phoenix, Arizona
- Sun City CBD Dispensary – Sun City, Arizona
- Tempe CBD Dispensary – Tempe, Arizona
- Tumbleweeds Health Center – Tucson, Arizona
- Walgreens – Phoenix, Arizona
What is the Difference Between CBD and THC?
CBD is abundant in hemp and does not produce psychoactive effects.
THC is abundant in marijuana plants and produces psychoactive effects.
The high concentration of THC in marijuana makes it federally illegal to possess and process.
In Arizona, the recreational use of marijuana is illegal. The possession, sale, cultivation, and trafficking of recreational marijuana may result in a felony conviction(18).
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
CBD is a widely studied compound due to its potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties(19).
According to multiple studies, CBD use may help with epilepsy, pain, insomnia, anxiety and depression, neurological disorders, and cancer-related symptoms(20). These are yet to be confirmed with larger clinical studies on efficacy and long term effects.
What is the Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil?
CBD oil is obtained from the stalks, leaves, stems, and flowers of the hemp plant. CBD can be acquired from different varieties of the cannabis plant.
Hemp oil may also refer to CBD oil or hempseed oil.
While CBD oil is high in cannabinoid content, hempseed oil (which is often extracted from hemp seeds) is low in cannabinoid content.
Some hemp oil products may also be a combination of CBD oil and hempseed oil.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-based CBD products with 0.3% or less THC are federally legal. In Arizona, purchasing CBD oil is legal and does not require a prescription.
Marijuana-based CBD products may also be permitted for a specific medical condition. Arizona’s medical marijuana program allows registered patients to possess and use up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis.
Consumers should buy CBD products from reliable and accredited sources to ensure that they have been tested and safe. Interested persons should consult their medical provider before taking CBD or THC for any reason to avoid complications.
*The information shared in this article was based on findings retrieved on November 5, 2020. The legality and regulations for CBD may change without notice.
- Arizona.gov. SB 1098 – Arizona Legislature. Retrieved from: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/2r/bills/sb1098p.pdf
- Americans for Safe Access. Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Retrieved from: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/arizona_medical_marijuana_act
- Farm Bill. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from https://www.usda.gov/farmbill
- Arizona Department of Agriculture. Industrial Hemp Program. Retrieved from: https://agriculture.az.gov/plantsproduce/industrial-hemp-program
- Arizona.gov. op.cit.
- Farm Bill. op.cit.
- Hudak, J. Brookings.edu. (December 2018). The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/
- FDA.gov. (October 2020). FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
- Arizona.gov. op.cit.
- Americans for Safe Access. op.cit.
- Boehnke, K. F., Gangopadhyay, S., Clauw, D. J., & Haffajee, R. L. (2019). Qualifying conditions of medical cannabis license holders in the United States. Health Affairs, 38(2), 295-302.
- PrescottERAU.edu. Alcohol & Drug Assistance Information. Retrieved from: https://prescott.erau.edu/campus-life/dean-of-students/alcohol-drug-assistance
- Arizona Department of Agriculture. op.cit.
- Statista. (October 2020). Estimated dollar sales of the CBD market in the United States in 2019, by state. Retrieved from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1065838/dollar-sales-of-us-cbd-market-by-state/
- Pacula, R. L., & Smart, R. (2017). Medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. Annual review of clinical psychology, 13, 397-419.
- Corroon, J., & Phillips, J. A. (2018). A cross-sectional study of cannabidiol users. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 152-161.
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: the current state of evidence and recommendations for research. National Academies Press.