Arizona Court Rules Cannabis Extracts Not Protected Under Medical Marijuana Act

An Arizona appeals court has ruled that cannabis extracts are not protected under the state’s medical marijuana act. The ruling stems from the case of Rodney Jones, a registered medical marijuana patient who was arrested in 2013 for possessing hashish.

The court in Jones’ original trial found that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), passed by voters in 2010 does not protect cannabis extracts including hash or hash oil. Jones was convicted and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction in a 2-1 decision late last month.

In the majority opinion, Judge Jon W. Thompson ruled that because hashish is illegal under criminal law and the AMMA does not specifically legalize the extract, Jones’ conviction should stand.

“AMMA is silent as to hashish,” Thompson wrote. “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.”

Cannabis Industry Concerned

The appeals court ruling has left many in the Arizona cannabis industry concerned. Medical marijuana dispensaries in the state sell numerous products, including vape cartridges and edibles, that are made from hash

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