Sarah Climaco

Arizona Appeals Court Rules MMJ Extracts Illegal

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that cannabis extracts are not specifically allowed in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) and are illegal, according to the Phoenix New Times. The ruling is largely concerned with the disparity between language used in other drug laws in Arizona that makes “hashish” illegal and the AMMA.

Judges on the case have indicated that all extracts are to be defined as hashish.

“AMMA is silent as to hashish. Prior understanding of the pertinent words strongly indicates that AMMA in no way immunizes the possession or use of hashish. That AMMA immunizes medical use of a mixture or preparation of the marijuana plant does not immunize hashish.” — Judge Jon W. Thompson, writing the court’s majority opinion

The judges’ 2-1 ruling was made regarding the conviction of Rodney Jones, a card-carrying medical cannabis patient arrested in 2013 for possession of a small jar of hashish. Jones was sentenced to two and a half years in jail, of which he’s already served 366 days. The latest ruling confirms Jones’ conviction, which has been a roller coaster of differing legal opinions.

Dispensaries in Arizona are unlikely to pull “hashish” derived products from shelves until the Arizona Supreme Court rules on the issue. The latest ruling has many dispensary owners nervous, as even CBD-only extracts are technically now illegal. Overlapping layers of legal decisions in wildly different directions in the state seem to be the issue at hand in Arizona.

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