Arizona, along with Colorado, has been a forerunner in making both medical and recreational marijuana available to its residents. Although it took some time to legalize recreational use after medical passed in 2010, there are now more dispensaries and entrepreneurs in this very lucrative industry. Arizona consumers are spending a great deal on medical and recreational marijuana, while entrepreneurs are soaking up the profits and the state is making a significant amount back in tax revenue. But everything in our society comes with some form of data exchange and you might wonder if Arizona dispensaries report your data to the government. The answer is a bit complicated. In this article, we’ll answer it for you.
In most states, someone must be over the age of 21 to be eligible to purchase marijuana. Licensed medical marijuana card holders can be 18 or older or have a designated caregiver. One of the first bits of data that dispensaries will check is age. They might scan your ID or check it for age verification purposes. Once they’ve done that, it goes in their database for the day. At the end of the day, these databases are most frequently wiped and are not shared with government entities. It simply means to ensure that they’re not illegally selling marijuana to anybody who is not eligible.
Ensuring Proper Amounts
The most challenging aspect of running a dispensary is ensuring proper amounts are being sold. Dispensaries can be shut down, fined, and people even jailed for selling improper amounts. All 120 Arizona dispensaries follow the same rules and guidelines for supporting medical and recreational marijuana. If you have a medical card, you can’t possess or buy more than 28 g. If you don’t have a medical card and are only using it for recreational purposes, you can’t have more than one ounce. Arizona still has stiff penalties for possessing more than 2.5 oz of non medicinal marijuana, with fines up to $300. If you have a medical card, the government already has your information. Dispensaries track this information to ensure compliance with local laws.
Whether You Have a Medical Card or Not
Since the passing of recreational marijuana laws took place, you no longer need a medical card to purchase cannabis. Any adult over 21 can buy with a photo id. When this happens, the dispensary scans the ID to ensure you don’t go over the legal purchase limits in the state. After all, to get the card you have to register with Arizona’s Department of Health Services. That’s a governmental regulatory body to which you already self-report information. But there’s good news: the information they obtain is confidential, meaning they don’t share it with the rest of the government and data stays safe and secure.
Controlled Substance Prescription Database
To obtain medical marijuana in Arizona, you need to follow the same rules as everywhere else. Patients see a state certified doctor, receiver recommendation, and get a prescription. As part of this, the person’s data including medical records and prescribed medications will likely be entered into the Arizona Board of Pharmacy Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program. This is a requirement by law and helps to ensure the safety of the patient. It is not something that gets reported to government agencies, however. It is HIPAA compliant and helps to regulate medical marijuana in the state.
Is Your Data Safe?
Some people might be concerned that visiting a dispensary will compromise their data and cause them some damage down the line. Some states (like Illinois) bar this practice entirely. Others, like Arizona and Colorado don’t retain information other than that which is required (and confidential!). No data is shared between states and visiting a dispensary won’t end up sending a load of personal information/data to the government. Some states even require dispensaries to dump some of the data they collect each day. Individual dispensaries might maintain some information for loyalty programs. Ultimately, visiting dispensaries in Arizona won’t be deleterious or have negative consequences for your data. As long as you follow the laws and proper amounts for possession within the state, you won’t need to worry about anything at all.