Arizona Cultivation License For Cannabis

Medical cannabis was legalized in Arizona in 2010, through the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. This initiative has allowed seriously ill patients to acquire medical cannabis with a prescription from their doctor. Last November 3, 2020, Prop 207 has been passed, also known as the Smart and Safe Act. The majority of Arizonans voted in favor of legalizing the recreational use of cannabis for adults who are at least 21 years old. The passage of this bill allows adults to possess no more than five grams of cannabis concentrates.

Prop 207 has also allowed residents of the state to cultivate up to six cannabis plants in their respective residences. However, those who plan on cultivating cannabis for commercial use must first acquire an Arizona cultivation license. For now, the license can only be obtained by first opening a cannabis dispensary.

What is an Arizona Cannabis Cultivation License?

The Arizona cultivation license is issued to those who want to grow cannabis in Arizona for business. To receive this license, applicants must be residents of the state for at least three years from the date of application. Medical dispensaries and growers of cannabis are also required to employ an Arizona-licensed doctor.

Cannabis laws in Arizona are constantly changing, and the requirements to acquire a cannabis cultivation license for medicinal, adult-use, and commercial are also changing constantly. If you plan on opening a cannabis cultivation business in Arizona, you must stay up to date on the Arizona cannabis laws since these will be evolving in the next few months, thanks to Prop 207. To be sure, it is best to contact the Arizona Department of Health Services for any concerns regarding the license requirements for medical and adult-use cannabis in Arizona.

Medical Cultivation of Cannabis in Arizona

Registered patients who are at least 21 years old may be able to grow cannabis at home. They can also designate a caregiver who is at least 21 years old to grow cannabis, but it must be strictly consumed for medical use only. The designated caregiver must also be approved by Arizona’s Department of Health Services.

To be given a cannabis grow license, the patient or caregiver should be living at least 25 miles away from a licensed dispensary. If either the patient or caregiver is renting, the landlord cannot be penalized for as long as they have a medical card. Since the patient is allowed to grow up to six plants of cannabis and the designated caregiver can grow up to six plants as well, a total of 12 plants can be grown at home. However, the combined possession of the patient and caregiver should not exceed 2.5 ounces.

Recreational Cultivation of Cannabis in Arizona

 Adult-use cannabis is now legal in Arizona. Adults who are at least 21 years old will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and they can grow a maximum of six plants at home. The sale of cannabis and cannabis seeds for those who do not possess a medical card may be allowed starting in March. Those who are renting must first seek approval from their landlord to cultivate cannabis. The plants must be kept out of the public’s view and must be grown in an enclosed room with locks.

How Many Cannabis Plants Can a Resident of Arizona Grow?

All adults who are at least 21 years old can grow up to six cannabis plants at home and no more than 12 plants in a house that has more than one adult resident.

They can grow cannabis plants from seeds or the cuttings of an existing plant, also called the clones. However, growing cannabis from cuttings is still considered a “gray area” in Arizona since it is not clear whether a cutting that has not taken root yet is considered as part of the six or twelve plants that Arizona residents are allowed to grow.

Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Cultivation

How Long Will It Take to Grow Cannabis?

On average, it will take 50 to 60 days before a cannabis plant is ready to be harvested. Once the plants are harvested, they need to be dried for 10 to 14 days. This should be ready to consume, although some growers will choose to cure the flowers for one to two more weeks to improve the quality even more.

Where To Buy Cannabis Seeds?

As more and more states are legalizing the use of cannabis both for medical and recreational use, buying cannabis seeds should be easy. Websites like Leafly are the best place to buy quality seeds online, however, these can be pricey. It’s also important to remember that growing cannabis from seeds is a gamble since only the female plants would produce flowers and you cannot guarantee how many of the seeds in the packet are female. There are feminized seeds that were genetically engineered to produce only female plants, however, these tend to cost a lot more. When buying seeds online, make sure you purchase only from vetted sources and be wary of fraudulent sellers.

What’s The Easiest Strain to Cultivate for Beginners?

First-time growers should start cultivating a hybrid strain and avoid those strains that were labeled “exotic” or has the name “OG” since these strains are somewhat complicated to grow. For instance, the popular 50/50 hybrid known as Blue Dream is highly recommended for beginners. It’s a very resilient plant that could withstand both higher and lower temperatures. Other hybrids that beginners should consider cultivating are the Grape Diamonds, Cherry Garcia, and Green Crack.

Where is the Best Place to Grow Cannabis Plant?

As stated in Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act, cannabis cultivation should be kept away from the public view. Thus, the plants should be grown indoors and kept in a locked or enclosed area, such as the garage. The ideal temperature to ensure successful growth is about 75 degrees, more or less. If you’re growing the cannabis plants in a small space with stagnant air, it is highly recommended to use a fan to move the air in and out of the room.

Beginners can start growing in a closet using a grow light of 100 watts as well as an oscillating desk fan. Some people would grow their cannabis plants using grow tents. These look like black boxes, although cannabis can be grown just about anywhere.

Cannabis plants can also be grown outdoors in Arizona but should be kept away from the public. When grown outdoors, the plants would start to flower around August, and as the days get shorter, they should be ready to harvest by October. Cannabis plants can be possibly grown in Phoenix despite the heat. However, extra steps have to be taken in order for the plants to be protected.

When growing the plants under heat, it’s highly recommended to add mulch to the soil to keep it cool. It is best to grow the plant in a bigger and more spacious pot so there is a buffering zone. A five-gallon pot should be enough. Placing the pot in another pot or adding an insulation barrier around it is also a good idea as it helps to prevent the plant from getting baked directly under the sun.

While it’s tempting to spray the plants in the middle of a hot sunny day, the water droplets from the leaves could act as small magnifying glasses that will only attract the sun even more. It is best to water your plants early in the morning. If you need to water them in the middle of the day, make sure you discharge the hot water from your hose first. Avoid watering the leaves, and instead, water the soil surrounding the plants.

How Much Light Does the Cannabis Plants Need?

When planted, the cannabis plant would require around 18 hours of light and six hours of darkness in order to grow and reach the vegetative stage. How long you will leave the plant in this state will depend on your available space, although experts recommend that beginners should start small.

After several days, growers should follow the requirements of 12 hours light and 12 hours of consecutive darkness to reach the flowering stage. If you are cultivating the cannabis plant outdoors, the light of the full moon is equivalent to the maximum amount of light that the plant should receive during the period of darkness.

How Often to Water the Cannabis Plants?

It’s highly recommended to water the plants once the soil starts to dry out. Test the soil by sticking your fingers into the soil halfway between the edge of the pot and the soil. If the soil is dry and warm, then that’s already a perfect time to water the plants. Remember that the water quality can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your cannabis flowers. So try to use purified or distilled water to water your plants instead of the water from the tap.

When To Harvest the Cannabis Flowers?

From the plant’s flowering stage, it will take about 50 to 60 days until the plants will be ready to be harvested. The plants should be ready to be harvested once most of the trichome caps have gone milky looking from being translucent and once ten percent of the caps have turned into an amber color.

Once the plants are harvested, the grower must hang the plants upside down to let them dry for about 10 to 14 days. When dried, the stems would appear brittle. After this, trim the leaves from the flowers and store the flowers inside an airtight container, such as a mason jar. If the flowers are already consumable at this point, they can be cured for better quality.

To cure the cannabis flowers, seal the container completely and open it for 20 minutes every 24 hours. It’s important that the flowers are dried completely before they are sealed up since the presence of moisture could lead to mold growth. After a week or two, you now have the best quality flower.

Cultivating Cannabis in Arizona

Who can cultivate cannabis in Arizona?

As stated in the Medical Marijuana Act of Arizona, the cultivation of cannabis should be kept in an enclosed or locked area, away from public view.

Cannabis dispensaries that are in compliance with the Arizona Cannabis Cultivation Laws could function within the local zoning areas in a locked or enclosed facility.

If the patient that qualifies for the Medical Marijuana Program lives about 15 miles away from a designated dispensary, the patient or their designated caregiver could be approved by the Department to cultivate cannabis. And as per the Arizona Marijuana Cultivation Restrictions, they should grow the cannabis plants within an enclosed area away from the public.

Will the Health Department be inspecting the homes of qualifying patients or designated caregivers who were authorized to grow cannabis in Arizona?

 According to the Arizona Cannabis Cultivation Requirements, if the qualified patients and designated caregivers are authorized to cultivate cannabis, the Health Department will have no authority to conduct an inspection in their homes.

Can cannabis cultivation in Arizona be done in a greenhouse?

A greenhouse that’s equipped with locks and other security devices and can only be accessed by a qualified cardholder can be used for cultivating cannabis in Arizona. The other means of using a greenhouse for Arizona cannabis cultivation would require that the greenhouse will be surrounded by a 10-ft wall made of concrete, stone, or solid metal, and equipped with a thick metal gate to keep it away from the view of the public.

Is it possible to set up a cultivation facility in Arizona without being a dispensary?

The Department of Health in Arizona has yet to come up with a system that will authorize the cultivation of cannabis without being a dispensary. For now, the only way to cultivate cannabis in Arizona for recreational adult use is to have a dispensary. Thus, when applying for an Arizona Cannabis cultivation license, the address of the cultivation facility will be tied to the address of the dispensary.

How much will it cost to apply for an Arizona Cannabis Cultivation License?

The initial registration fee for applying for an Arizona Cannabis Cultivation License is $5,000. Of this, $1,000 is refundable in case the application is not successful. The annual registration renewal fee is $1,000 and it will cost $2,500 to change the location of the dispensary or cultivation facility.


Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program has so far been successful, where many patients have been able to benefit. Now that the Smart and Safe Act has been passed, people who are looking to cultivate cannabis for recreational use must first have a clear understanding of the Arizona Cannabis Laws. Keeping up with the latest updates from the Arizona Department of Health Services regarding cannabis cultivation is important.

Just like the Medical Marijuana Program, many great things are expected to come out of the AZ Prop 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Act. Obtaining an Arizona cultivation license for Cannabis through the state is necessary for medical patients or their designated caregivers, but not required for adult-use under plant limitations.

Learn more about any of the Arizona Cannabis License Laws below:

Frequently Asked Questions