Arizona’s Cannabis Scene

What shines the brightest in Arizona’s cannabis culture are all the home growers. Arizona initially passed medical marijuana in 2010 but this only allowed patients or their caregivers to cultivate personal medicine if they lived over twenty miles from a dispensary. This unreasonable detail prevented the vast majority of patients from cannabis cultivation. Luckily when recreational cannabis was legalized by passing prop 207 in 2020, it allowed adults to cultivate up to six plants per person or twelve plants per household. If you asked me, this is what allowed Arizona to preserve access to true medical marijuana for those who needed it most. The downside is Arizona medical marijuana patients got the short end of the stick in terms of retail availability for quality medicine. Prop 207 finally opened access to craft cannabis in Arizona, and for that I am grateful.

It’s not surprising that hobby cultivation is so big here with the way the market has been designed. Luckily, prop 207 provided some generous limits with cannabis cultivation. It’s not quite as generous as Michigan and Massachusetts, but twelve plants in a house with two or more adults allows more than enough production to keep a household of adults comfortable in Arizona.

For hobby cultivators in the valley, check out Arizona Moonlight Grow shop for your cultivation needs. From what I have gathered, it’s a small business headed by a husband-and-wife team who have gone all in on their dream of creating a cannabis-centric home growers grow shop. Their passion and good intentions are contagious. It also seems this shop is slowly becoming a hub for the cannabis community and those who are seeking natural medicine. I see this as a business that deserves our support and has the potential to become a beacon for conscious cannabis cultivators and consumers in the valley of the sun, not to mention they have fair prices and solid service. They even carry the Cannatrol Cool Cure and Fermented Plant Extracts. What more needs to be said?

The cannabis market in Arizona is like the culture and market in many medicinally and recreationally legal states. The dispensaries feel more like a generic commercial retail store than a place where healing or connection exists. The commercial cannabis in Arizona reminds me a lot of “new money.” There’s this newly found richness and potential for health and wellness with all the money to throw at it, but it’s just not the same as old money wealth. The policy in Arizona was written in favor of big business and it shines through most retail stores, the product marketing and branding, as well as the attitudes of the staff. This is a cannabis locale that is literally impossible for the small-time or craft cannabis producers to get their product to the market.

The only dispensary in the Valley that I found reliable and had decent quality was TruMeds. This place is well networked and has some of the latest and greatest genetics on the market, including breeder’s work from the PNW. TruMeds is a happening place and is busy most days and times of the week. Medical marijuana patients or those who need a slower pace, the least busy times are Monday through Thursday in the morning. The times I went there at night it was almost too busy to tolerate. One of the other downsides was their “turn and burn” approach to flower production. I’m not sure on the specifics of how claimed “harvest dates” work in Arizona, but there were times I bought cannabis at TruMeds and the harvest date was less than two weeks prior to the date it was purchased. I’m not sure if they freeze dry their product or what, but the benefits of properly dried and cured cannabis just weren’t there. This dispensary’s top shelf is still the only flower I would consider buying, that is, if I had no access to quality craft cannabis.

When I relocated to Arizona and left the Pacific Northwest, it was a little rocky at first with getting access to quality medicinal cannabis in Arizona. Luckily, after the rough but short transition, it turned out for the better. Being in Arizona forced me to get back into cultivating cannabis which has been a long-time passion. Thank you, Arizona, for your fair regulations on cannabis cultivation for the home growers. For those of you in Arizona cultivating medicinal quality cannabis, I encourage you to find a few patients who are in need of quality medicine and donate a small portion of your harvests to them. These are the people who deserve it most and it’s disheartening to see them lack access to their much-needed medicine. Don’t forget, medical marijuana patients were essential in paving the way to adult recreational use of cannabis in the state of Arizona.