Medical cannabis extracts, such as vape pen oil, are illegal, Arizona Appeals Court rules; could be devastating for Ariz. medical marijuana community, says Laura Bianchi, partner and director of Rose Law Group Medical Cannabis Department

ACS concentrates/Phoenix New Times


By Ray Stern | Phoenix New Times

In a major legal setback to the state’s medical-marijuana community, the Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that cannabis extracts commonly sold in state dispensaries are illegal.

The ruling affects what the court and Arizona law calls “hashish,” or the resin extracted from marijuana. Medical marijuana consumers also know it as hash oil, shatter, wax, and other names. It’s become one of the biggest sellers at the state’s dispensaries, used to fill vape cartridges and create most cannabis-infused food and drinks.

Rodney Jones, a medical marijuana patient from Chino Valley, served prison time in 2017 for possessing hashish /Arizona Dept. of Corrections

It’s also the main ingredient in the cannabis oil used by many parents to treat epileptic children.

The appeals court found in a 2-1 decision that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act doesn’t address hashish.

“AMMA is silent as to hashish,” wrote Judge Jon W. Thompson for the majority opinion. “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.”


 “This is a case that, if upheld, could devastate Arizona’s medical marijuana community and have significant negative implications for the cannabis movement as a whole. The Court of Appeals’ legal analysis focused on determining the definition of hashish within the criminal code without a full assessment of Arizona’s medical marijuana law.

 “If this ruling is upheld, it would create enormous conflict between the medical cannabis program and our criminal code, and would place Arizona’s medical marijuana patients and the state’s regulated medical marijuana market as a whole at great risk.

“The cornerstone of Arizona’s medical marijuana law is to protect patients, and this decision does the exact opposite. We are confident in the strength of our legal position and are hopeful that the Arizona Supreme Court will overturn this decision. In the interim, it is important to note this is a criminal case, so continue to operate within the laws of the state of Arizona.”

~Laura Bianchi

Share this!

Additional Articles

News Categories

Get Our Twice Weekly Newsletter!

* indicates required

Rose Law Group pc values “outrageous client service.” We pride ourselves on hyper-responsiveness to our clients’ needs and an extraordinary record of success in achieving our clients’ goals. We know we get results and our list of outstanding clients speaks to the quality of our work.

The 10 Best Places to Live in Arizona

By Savannah Leedy | Arizona Foothills Magazine There is much to see and explore in Arizona. From the vast rock formations and abundant wildlife of the state’s parks and preserves to the award-winning resorts, world-class dining

Read More »