Hash, Kief, Tinctures and Other Concentrates of Marijuana Might Not be Legal Under Medical-Marijuana Law

Categories: Medical Weed

tincture bottle 2.JPG
Image: Jamie Peachey
Liquid marijuana tinctures could be illegal under Arizona law, despite the 2010 Medical Marijuana Act.

One thing to add about our blog post today on the raid of Arizona Cannabis Society:

Phoenix police say they intend to submit charges on some of the people involved, including charges related to the production of concentrated marijuana.

That brings up the thorny question of whether such concentrates are legal under Arizona's 2010 Medical Marijuana Act. The answer will become more important in a few months, with the opening of medical-pot dispensaries that plan on selling these type of products.

Many marijuana "edibles," for example, are made first by preparing concentrate that is then infused into food products. Pot-loaded foods, liquid tinctures, kief -- a powder made from the crystals of marijuana buds -- and hash all allow patients to opt out of smoking marijuana to obtain its benefits.




On one hand, the '10 state law defines "usable marijuana" as pot plants, plus "any mixture or preparation thereof."

But a much older statute illogically defines "cannabis" as the resin extracted from marijuana plants. And it deems "cannabis" as a narcotic, for which a person can be charged more severely than for plain, old marijuana.

Possessing a "narcotic" is a Class Four felony under Arizona law; selling it is a Class Two felony.

The "narcotic" label seems like a holdover from the Reefer Madness days. Whether hash or buds -- it's all just pot, nothing more. (UPDATE: In further researching this issue, we found that hash may retain some of the butane used in a butane-based manufacturing process. Obviously, that can't be good for you.)

By weight, concentrates do contain more of the active ingredient in marijuana, THC. But pot's effects don't increase exponentially with increased dosage; the concentrates are also just as safe as unconcentrated pot, in that a harmful overdose is essentially impossible. If anyone's ever died from drinking too much tincture or eating too much hash, it would be news to us.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has reportedly charged some state-qualified patients or caregivers with the "narcotics" violation because of possession or manufacture of concentrates, says attorney Tom Dean. However, Dean says he's not handling that case -- involving people tied to the Phoenix-based Soccer Moms Tinctures -- and doesn't know all the details.

If a defendant wasn't acting in accordance with the 2010 marijuana law, authorities may consider lumping in the "narcotics" charge on top of other charges, he says.

That would leave unanswered the overall question of whether prosecutors would charge otherwise law-abiding patients, caregivers or dispensaries with possession of a "narcotic" like kief or hash.

Dean wrote an essay about the extraction of concentrated pot just last week.

Another local lawyer, W. Michael Walz, tells New Times that the Maricopa County Attorney's Office's Drug Enforcement Bureau is still researching the issue.

Jerry Cobb, spokesman for County Attorney Bill Montgomery, says he'll check into it and get back to us.

Last month, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced that dispensaries should not sell hash, kief or edibles made from concentrates. But the city soon rescinded that order.



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9 comments
oliver
oliver

Maricopa County police seem like the scum of the Earth. Is where Joe Arpaio commits his crimes, where they lock up a single legal Mexican women without bail for "being illegal", and this.

Timothy D Little
Timothy D Little

The wash tub hash folks make here in the states is just plain shit. The Moroccans and the Afghans can show you how and no butane involved.

Guest
Guest

Footnote: Every time you gas up your vehicle you are exposed to way more alkane solvents (butane, octane, etc) than you would be exposed to with BHO (Butane Hash Oil). That said, butane isn't the only solvent that can be used to make such a product. Ethyl alcohol will do a good job, and supercritical pressurized CO2 will do even better. The real reason most people are concerned about BHO is the annoying habit some people have of causing fires and explosions with the stuff. Kids, don't do this at home!

charlie_oscar
charlie_oscar

Any first year law student should win the cases - (AZ 203) is legal, and the voters say it is -and it has been held up in court already - then you cannot apply the double standards - If you legally posses a 200mg Oxycontin is it illegal to possess a 400mg version if prescribed? Is not taking 2x 200mg the same as one 400mg?

If you're 21, is it legal to possess a 6 pack of Bud AND a pint of 180 ever clear? They are both alcohol, made entirely different, one from fermentation with low alcohol and one is distilled to the highest level of alcohol content....They both remain the same substance.

If medical MJ is legal in the state of AZ that includes the chemical compounds that are in MJ - primarily THC and some 200 cannibinoids... Any combination of those, or concentration of those compounds does not CHANGE the science - the substance remains the same thing...just in various forms of concentration.

These court cases will be a good thing for AZ 203 - as soon as a judge rules on the above…it becomes CASE LAW and cannot be ignored by Tommy Horne or Janis Brewer...

Seedy Ward
Seedy Ward

Pure and simple horse shit. The AzMMA overrides the antiquated statute. Get ready, narcs, cannabis prohibition is about to be smashed, and your sinecures along with it.

RJ RJ
RJ RJ

 The coolest hippie in the world right now is mohammad goldstein. He is a leftover hippie from the 60's who has created the largest protest against Washington in fifty years. he is on the net with the plot to overthrow washington for nuttin. every politician in DC knows him and they are trying to keep him from full exposure. he is like Martin Luther King and a breath of truth to the nation. So much truth in his speech.  Peace Out

nancy
nancy

Yes, they are worried the gravy chain for public safety will go away.

is_this_real_life
is_this_real_life

Would the state actually try and argue that cannabis and marijuana are different by definition? That makes no sense, but neither does our state. If this goes to court, hopefully it will be before a sane judge. Totally ridiculous.

Trommy Themulus
Trommy Themulus

It is amazing that agencies who have so much real and violent crime going on choose to waste their time and the taxpayers money on matters like this.

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