Arizona Senate approves free medical cannabis card for veterans

Legislation would mandate free medical marijuana cards for veterans.

Legislation approved by the Arizona Senate could significantly change medical marijuana card costs and accessibility if passed into law, including for veterans.

Senate Bill 1466 would cut the cost of a medicinal marijuana card from $150 for both the initial and renewal every two years down to $50, but it would be free for veterans. The legislation passed with bipartisan approval on Thursday.

The legislation includes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which commonly affects veterans, and Autism Spectrum Disorder as medical conditions that would allow an individual to get a medicinal marijuana card.

"We felt it was really important to provide the veterans in the state access to medical marijuana as they see needed," Ann Torrez, executive director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association, said. "And, in addition to that, with the change in medical conditions to include post-traumatic stress disorder, we just thought that this now is the right time to make sure that the access becomes even more available."

In addition, packaging for medicinal marijuana products will be required to have a QR code on them that will include important information about the item, including health warnings and a number to contact poison control.

Medicinal marijuana became legal in Arizona with the narrow passage of Proposition 203 in November 2010. Recreational marijuana did not become legal until 2021 after a ballot initiative passed in 2020.

The legislation must now succeed in the House of Representatives before it can be considered by Gov. Katie Hobbs.