A recently released report from the Arizona Department of Health Service indicates 152,979 patients were registered in the state’s medical marijuana program at the end of December 2017.
With an estimated population of 7 million (all ages), that works out to one in 45 Arizona residents being registered. To cater to those patients, there are 4,731 dispensary agents.
According to the report, just over 39% of registered patients are aged 51 or older and there are 207 under the age of 18. 61.28% of the state’s cardholders are male and 38.72% female.
Qualifying conditions in Arizona’s program include:
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for same that causes wasting, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and spasms.
Other conditions may be added in the time ahead. The Department finished accepting petitions to add to the list of debilitating medical conditions last week.
Of the 152,979 patients, 130,327 are registered to use medical cannabis to treat chronic pain – 85.19% of all patients. The next highest unique condition is cancer, at 2.44%. 6.83% of those registered have two or more conditions.
As well as dispensaries in the state issuing cannabis medicines, a patient or his/her designated caregiver may be approved by the Department to cultivate up to 12 medical marijuana plants in a situation where the patient lives more than 25 miles from the closest dispensary. For other patients, the maximum allowable amount of marijuana they can possess is 2.5 ounces.
There is some ongoing legal confusion in the state as to what medical cannabis actually is, i.e. the forms in which it can be consumed. The situation certainly isn’t discouraging sales as during the month of December, 4.41 tons of medical marijuana was sold.
In December 2010, Arizona voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act; which went into effect on April 14, 2011. Arizona was the fourteenth U.S state to adopt a medical marijuana law.