If you’re a long time resident of Arizona then you know the state has been fighting for access to cannabis and hemp for a long time.
In 1996, the majority of Arizona residents voted in favor of Prop 200, which would give qualified persons legal access to medical marijuana. However, state legislators repealed this provision months after it passed. Since then, it became an uphill battle to get this law set in stone. Fast forward to 2010 and 50.1% of Arizona residents voted for medical use of cannabis. This was a close call, but just enough votes came in to make medical marijuana legal in Arizona.
Then years later in 2016, Proposition 205 put recreational cannabis use on the ballot, but only received 48.7% of the vote. Ever since this time, supporters and organizers worked tirelessly to get it passed. As of the date of this writing, they’re trying to get the initiative put on the November 2020 ballot. If all goes well, Arizona voters will once again have the chance to legalize recreational use.
You may be asking, what does this have to do with hemp flower legality in your home state of Arizona? Well, we wanted to give you an idea of Arizona’s perception and history of cannabis, since marijuana and hemp are part of the same family — cannabis Sativa L.
Compared to many other states around the country, Arizona has favorable views of the plant and understands its benefits for medical use. So, it may not come as a surprise to learn that hemp flower is legal in Arizona. Let’s talk about the legalities and the timeframe of when and how the laws went into place.
Arizona CBD laws
Doug Ducey, Governor of Arizona, signed Senate Bill 1098 on May 14, 2018, allowing industrial hemp farming to occur. At this time, the Arizona Department of Agriculture (AZDA) became responsible for overseeing and regulating the state’s Hemp Program.
It took some time to formalize this Program because each state has to get its detailed plan approved by the USDA. But, once approval came, the AZDA opened up the application process and issued its first licenses on May 31, 2019.
There are licenses for growers, harvesters, transporters, and processors. At this time, there’s no license to sell, manufacture, or process hemp-derived products. So, there’s a bit of gray area here for Arizona businesses who want to carry these types of products on their shelves.
On the same note, the rest of the nation is waiting for input from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), since they’re the governing body responsible for approving the marketing of hemp-based CBD products at the national level.
Until then, the sales of CBD based products that come from hemp are legal in Arizona. But to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill, they must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Can anyone grow hemp flower in Arizona?
No, not everyone can. The licenses are available for individuals who plan to grow hemp for commercial or research purposes. That means you can’t grow hemp plants from home. This may change if and when the recreational cannabis laws pass. But until then, it’s a no go.
CBD hemp flower law in Arizona
Some states have unique laws as it pertains to hemp flower. Even if they allow the sale of CBD oil tinctures, for example, they might not permit the sale of CBD flower buds. For Arizona, the laws aren’t clearly written in black and white, which means there’s some gray area. When state laws aren’t explicit, it’s a common practice to default to federal laws.
The U.S. government stated in the Farm Bill, that any part of the plant “with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than three-tenths percent (0.3%) on a dry-weight basis,” is legal for sale and consumption.
As far as we can tell, hemp flower is legal in Arizona, until explicitly stated otherwise.
Can you smoke CBD in public in AZ?
No, it’s not a good idea to smoke CBD flower in public. This is the case for the majority of states. And here’s the reason why. Hemp buds look, smell, and feel identical to marijuana. If you were to smoke a hemp pre-roll out in public, you’re likely to get some stares or unwanted attention.
Even more, police officers can’t tell the difference between the two because there’s no field test available. As far as they know, you’re smoking weed, rather than legalized hemp flower. Until this gets sorted out or a test becomes available, smoking in private is the way to go.
Can you buy CBD flower online?
Yes, it’s legal to buy hemp flower from an online hemp flower dispensary, or another website of your choice. Before you do, confirm the percentage of Delta-9 THC is at or below 0.3%. To verify this percentage, you’ll need to find the cannabinoid profile. Usually, the company selling the hemp flower buds post this information near the photo of the strain.
Each hemp strain you look at will have a unique cannabinoid profile, which is where you’ll discover the amount of Delta-9 THC. This will show up on the third-party lab testing report called the “Cannabinoid Analysis”. Not all companies pay for this testing, but without the report, you won’t be able to confirm the THC percentage. Or the CBD percentage for that matter.
How to know you’re getting high-quality hemp flower?
Besides looking for the “Cannabinoid Analysis” lab report to confirm THC levels, read about the company, see where they source their hemp flower from. Learn how it’s grown, and about the qualities of each particular strain. Popular CBD flower strains include Lifter, Hawaiian Haze, Sour Space Candy, Special Sauce, and others.
Read about the potential effects and terpene profiles of each strain and see what customers had to say. If you can’t find any of this information on the company’s website, that’s a red flag. How are you supposed to buy something in confidence without the relevant facts?
Also, organically-grown hemp flower, like organic produce, will be superior. The flavors will be bold and rich, the quality of the smoke will be smooth, and you won’t have to worry about inhaling things like pesticides. It’s a win-win all around and the cost won’t be far out of reach either.
Benefits of hemp flower
When you buy CBD flower, you can buy hemp nugs by the gram, or in pre-rolled joints. That’s one benefit because you have some options. Also, with flower, you can smoke it in a traditional way with your pipe, or roll some up into a joint or blunt. Or you can use some in a dry herb vaporizer.
When you smoke or vape with hemp flower, you feel the effects on the spot. It only takes seconds or a few minutes for things to kick in. This is one of the biggest benefits of smoking hemp and is the main reason people choose this form of delivery.
However, if you’re not a fan of smoking, you can still buy CBD flower buds and infuse them in oil or butter. This is a fantastic option for those who love to cook and want to make healthy edible creations. Or you can use the oil and make a homemade face cream or other skincare topical. There are lots of options to explore.
The important thing is to start out with organic, artisan hemp buds and incorporate them into your lifestyle the best way you see fit.
Hemp farming is legal in Arizona with oversight from the Arizona Department of Agriculture. One of its main roles is to ensure the hemp crops contain less than 0.3% THC before getting sent to the processor.
Also, the sale and consumption of hemp-derived products, including CBD hemp flower are legal. You can find products in local stores or online. If you decide to buy online you’ll have the advantage to read customer testimonials and look over the third party lab reports. These reports, also called Certificates of Analysis (COAs) tell you the CBD content, the percentage of THC, and provide other insights about the hemp strain.
Lastly, look for hemp flower strains grown from licensed farmers in the U.S. who use organic and sustainable farming methods. This will improve the quality and overall smoking or consumption experience.