Arizona MMJ Industry Shrugs Off Court Ruling Outlawing Cannabis Extracts
Last week the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a definitive ruling stating that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) does not expressly address or include what they dub “hashish”, and therefore all forms of cannabis extracts are now illegal in the state.
This week pretty much everyone involved in the state’s thriving cannabis industry vowed to ignore that ruling and continue to do business as usual.
The Appeals Court had their say on the matter but the decision will certainly be challenged and taken all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court and industry leaders and employees say that they will continue to provide wax, shatter, vape pen cartridges, and all other forms of “hashish” until that ultimate ruling.
The Department of Health Services oversees the state’s MMJ program and they are quick to point out that in the wake of the controversial ruling, they still have not been specifically instructed to change any rules within the program.
The case that brought “hashish” into the courtroom that day involves an Arizona resident named Rodney Jones, a black man and a medical marijuana cardholder in the state’s program. He was arrested in 2013 and found to be in possession of 2.5 grams of … ahem… hashish and was promptly sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.
Approved by Arizona voters in 2010, the AMMA is far too vague in its language. The flawed law defines the "usable marijuana" as "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 ..."
That room for interpretation gave the Appeals Court enough cover to belch out their ruling last week which stated, “AMMA is silent as to hashish. Prior understanding of the pertinent words strongly indicates that AMMA in no way immunizes the possession or use of hashish. That AMMA immunizes medical use of a mixture or preparation of the marijuana plant does not immunize hashish."
Seems to us they’ve got a language gap in the Grand Canyon State.
It also seems like the word "hashish" might overtake the word "moist" as most annoying to people...
For example, under the court’s shortsighted ruling, medicinal CBD oil – legal in all 50 states – is now illegal under Arizona’s ban on “hashish”.
Local anti-weed ass-backwards law enforcement officials have had a field day with the nonspecific language in the MMJ program and currently under state law "cannabis” merits a stiffer felony designation and higher penalties than “regular” “marijuana”, which is enough to make any thinking person’s head explode.
And so the thinking people in the Arizona cannabis industry – an industry with over 170,000 MMJ card holding customers and 130+ state-authorized dispensaries – are ignoring the fading howls of the pot prohibitionists and look forward to another day in court.