Phoenix New Times: “Springerville police raided the Green Farmacy in the small, eastern-Arizona town and seized the shop’s supply of medical marijuana, claiming the place was no longer authorized by the state to sell marijuana. The dispensary’s been closed since the Wednesday raid. Springerville police raided the Green Farmacy in the small, eastern-Arizona town and seized the shop’s supply of medical marijuana, claiming the place was no longer authorized by the state to sell marijuana. The dispensary’s been closed since the Wednesday raid.”
Associated Press: “A man accused of running a business known as ‘Kush Gods’ that openly sold marijuana brownies and other pot-laced edibles on the streets of Washington has been released from custody – and he’s anything but apologetic. District of Columbia police announced Tuesday that Nicholas Cunningham, 30, and an employee, Evonne Lidoff, 18, were facing misdemeanor charges of marijuana distribution.”
Associated Press: “The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday that medical marijuana cardholders don’t have immunity from prosecution under a state DUI law that prohibits drivers from having in their bodies any amount of marijuana or its chemical compound that causes impairment. But the state high court’s unanimous decision Friday also said cardholders can try to show in court that they didn’t have enough of the marijuana compound THC in their systems to be impaired.”
The Range: “Now that Kalvin Catlin’s brother Kyle has been convicted on three felony drug charges, the 23-year-old doesn’t have much hope about the outcome of the trial the two will tackle together in December. . . . Three years ago, the brothers—both of whom are medical marijuana cardholders—partnered up in a caregiver project called Arizona Medical Marijuana Caregivers. They were arrested in late 2012, a few months after Kyle was arrested on separate counts. . . . Some of the felonies the brothers face are: Illegally conducting an enterprise; conspiracy to commit sale of marijuana; conspiracy to commit possession of marijuana for sale; possession of marijuana for sale; possession of drug paraphernalia. “
Phoenix New Times: “An Arizona State University student and qualified patient under Arizona’s medical-marijuana law has been found guilty of possessing marijuana under a disputed law that altered the state’s voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act by banning the plant from the campuses of public colleges. The 2010 law already had prohibited possession even by qualified patients on K-12 campuses, but Arizona lawmakers — with the support of colleges — expanded the ban in 2012. Andre Maestas, now 20, was busted after he sat down randomly in the intersection of Forest Avenue and Lemon Street just past midnight on March 18. While investigating him for blocking a roadway, campus police searched his wallet and found his medical-marijuana card. That led to a raid of his dorm room and the discovery of .6 grams of marijuana and some smoking paraphernalia.”
Phoenix New Times: “The thought of possibly spending close to 100 years in prison terrifies Kyle Catlin. But he’s mostly concerned about his mom. She’s not in the best of health. If something were to happen to her, ‘I may not even be allowed to leave prison to go to my mom’s funeral, and that’s super f***** up,’ he says. . . . The 27-year-old is facing 10-plus felony charges, including marijuana possession and sale, attempted production, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He has two separate cases with different accusations under his name. Catlin, a medical marijuana patient and certified caregiver, swears his actions more than three years ago are protected by the law.”
ABC15.com: “Go on Craigslist and search for marijuana, and you’ll likely come across quite a few posts advertising for ‘patient-to-patient’ exchanges or delivery of the drug. The ads will ask for other medical marijuana patients only and, often, they’ll ask for a ‘donation’ fee. . . . calling the money exchanged a donation, doesn’t help either. ‘That donation, 100 percent of the time that I’ve had interaction with that
Phoenix New Times: “A popular medical-marijuana club that hosted regular ‘Farmer’s Markets’ was raided by a Glendale SWAT team on Wednesday, resulting in nine arrests at five different locations. . . . The 7Ten Club advertises with a slick website and frequently updated Facebook page, billing itself as “Arizona’s Premier Medical Marijuana Club.”
Fox10Phoenix.com: “An Arizona State University student has a valid Arizona Medical Marijuana Card, but now he’s facing a criminal conviction for using his legal, medical marijuana on campus. He’s fighting the conviction and says he shouldn’t have been treated differently than any other medical marijuana patient, just because he lives on campus. Andre Maestas has been using marijuana to relieve his back pain for several years.”
East Valley Tribune: “Doctors who recommend marijuana to patients can’t be charged with crimes even if they did not follow the procedures required by law, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges acknowledged that Robert Gear, a Phoenix naturopath with offices in several communities, had been charged with recommending the drug to a patient without having access to 12 months of her medical records. That is a requirement under the law. Gear was indicted on charges of forgery and fraudulent schemes after saying on a form required by the Department of Health Services that he had, in fact, seen those records.”
Christian Science Monitor: “As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers who have studied the issue, though, are divided on the question. Studies of marijuana’s effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills. But unlike with alcohol, drivers high on pot tend to be aware that they are impaired and they try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles.”
azfamily.com: “Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have arrested 12 people in a medical marijuana investigation. . . . Detectives have seized $44,317.00, 8 handguns, 55 pounds of medical grade marijuana, 20 pounds of marijuana edibles, 5 vehicles, safes, televisions, computers and tablets from the business and employees’ residences. . . . Arpaio said the suspects opened a shop called Alternative Medicine Group (AMG) and sold medical grade marijuana as a dispensary with no license or authority from the state to do so.”
OC Weekly: “After years of doing nothing to stop dispensaries from coming to town, the police crack down. . . . Aloha was one of the first dispensaries to be raided that afternoon, so the paddy wagon was otherwise empty on the short ride to the Santa Ana Jail. They could consider themselves lucky: Nearly 70 people would be arrested that day, many of whom would complain about cramped, even dangerously overheated conditions in the vehicle and, later, the city jail. Some 24 dispensaries were targeted by Santa Ana cops throughout the afternoon. Seven were already closed when officers arrived, staff at another managed to flee the location before they could be arrested, and 16 others were successfully raided, according to a SAPD list obtained by the Weekly. A total of 68 people were cited as being in violation of the city’s municipal code banning the owning or operating of, as well as volunteering at, a cannabis dispensary.
The Kind Collective and the Underground were raided.
KVOA News 4 Tucson: “News 4 Tucson Investigators discovered, there’s another marketplace for medical marijuana – the online marketplace. A simple search on craigslist reveals what we’re talking about. Sellers advertising their goods, including different varieties, or strains of marijuana. And, it’s all just a few clicks away. Will Humble, with the Arizona Department of Health Services tells the news 4 Tucson Investigators, these online sellers aren’t following state law as it was approved by voters. ‘Patients can exchange marijuana with each other, as long they’re a qualified patient with a current card, they’re allowed to exchange marijuana with each other, as long as nothing of value, other the than the marijuana is exchanged,’ Humble says.”
Phoenix New Times: “we wanted to catch you up on a situation we wrote about in November, when another bona fide patient was caught in a DUI stop and found to be in possession of a single piece of infused candy. The patient, whom New Times is not identifying at his request, had purchased the Tootsie Pop-like candy at a local “compassion club” that isn’t approved by the state to sell marijuana. . . . In January, Montgomery’s office dropped the charge unexpectedly, claiming that the evidence had been destroyed.”
Associated Press: “Federal officials are reporting a record seizure of marijuana at an Arizona crossing on the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials held a Tuesday afternoon news conference to provide details on the seizure of more than 10 tons of marijuana at the Mariposa port of entry on the outskirts of Nogales.”
Phoenix New Times: “Medical-marijuana users were warned. And now Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is carrying out his plan to harass qualified medical users for resin-infused edibles. Montgomery repeatedly has refused to say whether he is prosecuting patients for possession of marijuana concentrates who otherwise are acting within the boundaries of the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. New Times has learned that his office is moving forward with at least one such case, a felony prosecution of a medical-marijuana patient for possession of a single piece of infused candy.”
Arizona Medical Marijuana Law Does Not Allow Possession of Resin Extracted from Cannibis in Food Products
On August 30, 2013, Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, wrote a detailed article that concludes with the following statement:
“registered identification card holders and dispensaries may be exposed to criminal prosecution under the Criminal Code for possessing a narcotic drug if the card holder or dispensary possesses resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis or an edible containing resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis.’
Read also “Marijuana regulations might not cover all food products.” The full text of the article is below.
“Are Marijuana and Cannabis the same thing when it comes to Arizona Law? The short answer is no- and the distinction may be an important one for Qualified Patients.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act provides registry identification card holders and dispensaries a number of legal protections for their medical use of Marijuana pursuant to the Act. Interestingly, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act definition of “Marijuana” in A.R.S. § 36-2801(8) differs from the Arizona Criminal Code’s (“Criminal Code”) definition of “Marijuana” in A.R.S. § 13-3401(19). In addition, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act makes a distinction between “Marijuana” and “Usable Marijuana.” A.R.S. § 36-2801(8) and (15).
The definition of “Marijuana” in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act is “… all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.” The definition of “Usable Marijuana” is “… the dried flowers of the marijuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant and does not include the weight of any non-marijuana ingredients combined with marijuana and prepared for consumption as food or drink.” The “allowable amount of marijuana” for a qualifying patient and a designated caregiver includes “two-and-one half ounces of usable marijuana.” A.R.S. § 36-2801(1).
The definition of “Marijuana” in the Criminal Code is “… all parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, from which the resin has not been extracted, whether growing or not, and the seeds of such plant.” “Cannabis” (a narcotic drug under the Criminal Code) is defined as: “… the following substances under whatever names they may be designated: (a) The resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or its resin. Cannabis does not include oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any fiber, compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the mature stalks of such plant except the resin extracted from the stalks or any fiber, oil or cake or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination; and (b) Every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such resin or tetrahydrocannabinol.” A.R.S. § 13-3401(4) and (20)(w).
An issue the Department has been wrestling with for some time is how the definition of “Marijuana” and “Usable Marijuana” in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act and the definition of “Cannabis” and “Marijuana” in the Criminal Code fit together. This confusion, which appears to be shared by dispensaries and registered identification card holders alike, is not easy to clear up and has resulted in the Department receiving numerous questions regarding the interplay between the protections in A.R.S. § 36-2811 and the Criminal Code. While we can’t provide legal advice as to whether a certain conduct is punishable under the Criminal Code (only an individual’s or entity’s legal counsel can do this), “Cannabis” is defined as the “resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus cannabis” and “Cannabis” is listed as a narcotic drug according to the Criminal Code in A.R.S. § 13-3401(4) and (20)(w).
In other words, registered identification card holders and dispensaries may be exposed to criminal prosecution under the Criminal Code for possessing a narcotic drug if the card holder or dispensary possesses resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis or an edible containing resin extracted from any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis. If you’re concerned that your conduct may expose you to criminal prosecution, you may wish to consult an attorney. We’ll be providing some specific guidance for dispensaries licensed by the ADHS next week.
Big Practical Problem: How would a card carrying patient or a dispensary employee know if a food or beverage product contained resin extracted from a cannabis plant?
Phoenix New Times: “Phoenix police have busted marijuana activist Billy Hayes for the second time in two years in connection with running an unauthorized medical-marijuana dispensary. . . . Hayes was behind the Arizona Cannabis Society, a caregiver collective we wrote about in February of 2012 that grew buds for patients in an El Mirage warehouse. A few weeks after our article appeared, Phoenix police raided the place and claimed the co-op had exceeded the number of marijuana plants allowed by state law. Hayes was never charged in that case.
Payson Roundup: “Medical marijuana patients with visible plants facing drug charges. . . . All three medical marijuana gardens triggered raids and arrests by Payson Police, when people with medical marijuana cards allegedly violated the strict limits on growing your own marijuana set by state law. Violators end up facing the same penalties as people without medical marijuana cards who grow pot. . . . The state’s voter-approved law stipulates that all medical-marijuana plants must be grown in enclosed, locked facilities. This can be inside or outside, so long as they’re not visible. #If grown outdoors, a wall at least 10 feet high, made of metal, concrete or stone, must block the view. The yard must also have a 1-inch thick metal gate.”
Phoenix New Times: “For the millions of people who now use marijuana legally under their states’ laws, driving in Arizona is technically a crime. Motorists with pot metabolites in their bloodstreams who want to avoid a marijuana DUI — which comes with nasty fines and a one-year suspension of driving privileges, instead of the regular 90 days for booze DUIs — may want to consult our quick primer below.”
White Mountain Independent: “On April 2, 2013 the Navajo County Attorney’s Office formally charged suspect Michal Lytle,” with felonies for the sale and possession of marijuana.
Times-Herald: “Year-old criminal charges were dismissed Thursday against Matt Shotwell, a one-time operator of one of Vallejo’s largest medical marijuana dispensaries. Since February 2012, when the Vallejo Police Department’s series of raids on medical marijuana dispensaries launched with Shotwell’s arrest at Greenwell Cooperative dispensary, no operators have been convicted.
Arizona Daily Star: “The day after police raided the Get Legal Cannabis Certification Center, 6647 E. 22nd St., a crowd of about 20 angry customers gathered outside. . . . Thus ended the short life of the sort of business Arizona’s medical marijuana industry should avoid being associated with if it wants to be taken seriously. . . . The last police visit was on Feb. 28, when Counter Narcotics Alliance officers served a search warrant, looking for evidence not of drug crimes but of fraud.”
Payson Roundup: “A grand jury indicted Nature’s Harvest founder and director Sheelah Golliglee last month for running a criminal syndicate and selling marijuana. . . . [The Navajo County Sheriff’s Department] said Nature’s Harvest was charging patients for medical marijuana, but passing it off as a consultation fee. . . . A doctor who worked at the facility was also indicted for forgery and fraudulent schemes, but has not appeared for his arraignment, said [Navajo County deputy attorney Jason] Twede.”
Longview Daily News: “Longview police busted a Kelso medical marijuana dispensary last week and arrested four people for allegedly selling pot on the side to non-patients. Agents from the Longview Police Street Crimes Unit served a search warrant Thursday at the ‘Grass Rootz’ dispensary”
azfamily.com: “Mohave County authorities arrested two people after busting a marijuana grow operation in Golden Valley . . . . more than 500 marijuana plants were seized”
Mohave Valley Daily News: “The Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, with the assistance of the Bullhead City Police Department, arrested a Bullhead City resident and his wife after a search warrant was served on their home following an investigation regarding a prior marijuana bust last week. According to Emily Fromelt, spokeswoman for the Bullhead City Police Department, a recent investigation into an illegal marijuana business that led to two arrests also led to the discovery of additional grow operations that contained more than 400 marijuana plants. On Feb. 27, the MAGNET team served a search warrant into the residence of Edwin Harry Rapp III, 39, in the 800 block of Campbell Road, where police seized approximately 175 marijuana plants.