Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Laws
Commercial cannabis cultivation is legal in Arizona but governed by a complex array of rules and regulations at both state and local levels.
In this guide, we’ll outline the main rules and regulations in force as well as the processes in place to become a licensed commercial cannabis cultivator.
Do I need a license to cultivate cannabis for commercial purposes?
Yes, any person or entity growing marijuana commercially in Arizona must first obtain a marijuana establishment license. Commercial cannabis licenses are issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which is the state agency responsible for regulating commercial cannabis cultivation.
Are there different types of cannabis cultivation licenses in Arizona?
No, there is only one type of marijuana business license in Arizona. The marijuana establishment license covers all types of cannabis business operations, from cultivation and processing to retail.
This means that to become a licensed cannabis grower in Arizona, you first need to own a marijuana dispensary. There are then registration options in place that allow license holders to submit supplementary applications to grow cannabis commercially. This is then reviewed by the ADHS.
Who is eligible to apply for a cannabis cultivation license in Arizona?
Applications to grow cannabis commercially in Arizona are limited to those who already hold a license as a marijuana establishment or marijuana dispensary.
More generally, applicants must be 21 years or older and have resided in Arizona for at least three years prior to the date of the application.
How do I secure a license to sell cannabis commercially in Arizona?
To obtain a commercial cannabis cultivation license in Arizona, you need to follow ADHS’s application process through the Marijuana Facility License Portal. Here’s an overview of the steps involved:
ADHS makes a call for applications at defined periods during which prospective commercial cannabis cultivators can apply for a license. The exact dates and application requirements are decided upon by the ADHS.
Application Form and Documentation
ADHS provides application forms that query the applicant’s personal information, business structure and finances. Applicants are also required to submit detailed cultivation plans that includes information about the proposed growing facility, employee qualifications, and operating equipment.
Applicants must also submit documentation that demonstrates awareness of and a capacity to comply with various regulations, including zoning restrictions, security protocols, environmental regulations and reporting requirements.
Applicants are subject to background checks to assess suitability for licensing. This includes fingerprinting and reviews of criminal records.
Applicants are required to pay a fee when submitting an application. The exact amount is determined by the ADHS and can vary depending on the scale of the proposed cultivation site.
Review and License Approval
ADHS reviews all completed applications submitted within the defined submission period. This review may involve inspections of proposed sites for commercial cannabis cultivation, and the input of a review panel that may assess applicants on the basis of predetermined criteria, such as the fulfilment of social equity obligations.
How many plants can be grown commercially in Arizona?
There is no legal limit on the number of plants a commercial cannabis cultivator can grow in Arizona.
Who can legally work at a cannabis cultivation site in Arizona?
Employees of a licensed marijuana establishment in Arizona must hold a valid cannabis facility agent license. Only those who are at least 21 years old and have no felony convictions are eligible to apply for this.
Where can cannabis be grown commercially in Arizona?
As with cultivation laws concerning personal use, marijuana grown for commercial purposes in Arizona must be kept in a secure, indoor facility.
What are the zoning laws for commercial cannabis cultivation in Arizona?
Zoning restrictions for cannabis grow sites, such as proximity to schools, residential areas, and other sensitive locations are determined at the municipal level.
What are the tax-related obligations for commercial cannabis cultivators in Arizona?
Cannabis manufacturers and processors in Arizona must hold a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) license.
This is used to allow cultivators to purchase items used for growing cannabis, such as seeds. This does not include machinery or equipment which are used continuously by the business.
Gross income must be reported and deductions can be made on all sales made to cannabis retailers.
Where can I find more information and guidance concerning cannabis cultivation in Arizona?
For more information concerning cannabis cultivation in Arizona, consult the ADHS’s Bureau of Marijuana Licensing.