Arizona Medical-Marijuana Patients Could Buy Pot in Nevada Dispensaries Under New Plan

Categories: Medical Weed

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Image: Andrew Pielage
Medical-marijuana patients from Arizona and other states could shop legally at as-yet-unopened Nevada dispensaries under a plan being developed by Nevada authorities.

Chad Westom, bureau chief of the Nevada Division of Public & Behavioral Health, said on Monday that his state's new medical-marijuana program will honor Arizona registration cards.

See also:
-Arizona Surpasses 50,000 Medical-Marijuana Patients
-Judge: Medical-Marijuana Patients Can Sell Pot to Other Patients Because Law is Vague

Arizona's 2010 medical-marijuana law allows bona-fide patients from other states to possess marijuana, (though not to buy marijuana in AZ dispensaries, as this article previously said before we fixed that error.)

As of yet, no other states have served Arizona patients.

That's about to change.

In 2013, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a new law that calls for up to 66 dispensaries to open across the state. The first Nevada dispensaries are expected to open in Las Vegas and other cities and towns early in 2015.

Dispensary operators would be able to decide for themselves if they want to accept out-of-state cardholders as customers, Westom said. Many clearly will, given that it will mean more business for them, he agreed.

According to Nevada law, dispensaries could honor out-of-state cards as long as the state that issued the card has an official database of patients and "allows the Division and medical marijuana dispensaries in (Nevada) to access the database."

Nevada officials hope to have an interstate-access agreement in place by 2016.

It's unclear whether such a deal could ever be made with Arizona. Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, told New Times in an email that he doesn't believe it would be possible: "Our (point-of-sale) system is specific to AZ cardholders and dispensaries." Humble added that the issue would require more research to be certain.

However, Westom said that when the Nevada system is up and running by early next year, dispensaries won't need to access the Arizona system in order to honor Arizona cards. The plan is to have dispensary agents, before completing a sale, inspect the out-of-state card and have the customer sign an attestation that the card was valid.

The maximum amount for purchase and possession of medical marijuana in Nevada is 2.5 ounces every two weeks, same as in Arizona.

Westom wasn't sure, though, whether an Arizona patient would enjoy legal protection from law enforcement authorities in Nevada if caught in possession of marijuana, no matter where it was purchased, if no access to Arizona's database was allowed.

Nevada's medical-pot law entitles out-of-state cardholders to possess marijuana, but the law states that the reciprocity provision's effective date is April 1, 2016. Without a way for a police officer to determine if a card from another state was valid, a patient could theoretically still be arrested for possession.

The new system has some kinks, clearly. But by this time next year, Arizona patients may have substantially more options when it comes to buying their medical marijuana.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.


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8 comments
Jennifer Schweizer
Jennifer Schweizer

Make sure you do t take any home across state lines with you, if this does happen they'll be waiting for it!

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

Or they could just grown their own and dispense with all the overpriced greedy dispensary nonsense.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Keeping illegal drugs illegal benefits no one except the federal, state and locat authorities which enforce the laws (they keep employed) and the drug lords and their underlings.  This is why the War on Drugs was instituted and why Marijuana was made illegal in 1930s - it's just business folks. 

Never mind that hemp (which was the REAL target of marijuana criminalization laws) is comletely harmless and has numerous benefits for society, the federal, state and local prosecuters, police, jailers, and others who had become employed during the peirod of alcohol prohibition, which ended just prior to the criminalization of marijuana, had to keep employed in their make-work jobs - and the Upper echalon had to keep those bribes and kickbacks coming in to keep paying their family mortgages. 

It's been a VERY ugly period in US History - more people's lives have been harmed by the War on Drugs than ANY other piece of crap thing the US Government has ever done - and THAT is saying a lot (genocide, slavery, environmental destruction, etc etc. etc.). 

It is estimated that the cost to society for putting functional illegal drug users in jail has cost our economy over 3 trillion or more in tax revenue, lost opportunity cost, and government expenses over the last 50 years.

It's going to get worse as the Drug Lords and the vested interests in the Drug War in our government start losing their revenue streams - they'll try to outlaw other drugs or activities for themselves to engage in and profit from.  We must be watchful. 

Right now, the best thing we can do is BOYCOTT ILLEGAL DRUGS.  Make you own, grow your own, borrow from a friend but DO NOT feed the system that is oppressing us by buying illegal drugs.  We have found the enemy and they is us!

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

Senator Kimberly Yee runs Arizona and marijuana is her #1 target...look out Arizonans

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