To prevent the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and other dangerous and narcotic drugs, Arizona law regulates the sale of defined precursor and regulated chemicals. Arizona law requires the reporting of certain transactions involving these chemicals. If you are involved in the manufacture, distribution, sale or transfer of any of these chemicals, you should be familiar with those statutes that affect your company. Listed below is a brief outline of the statute; additional information can be obtained by viewing the below Arizona Statutes:
- ARS 13-3401: Definitions
- ARS 13-3404: Sale of precursor or regulated chemicals; report; exemptions; violation; classification
Diversion of methamphetamine manufacturing items can occur many ways:
- Theft of the substance
- A customer purchases the substance repeatedly on the same day or within a few days.
- Customers, who are part of a group, each of whom purchases the substance.
- Customers who go from register to register purchasing the product at each register.
Meth lab operators know what stores they can purchase or steal the most precursor or regulated chemicals from without being discovered. Don't let your store be one of these! In fact, if your business has an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit, then you are required under their regulations "to maintain effective controls against the diversion of precursor chemicals to unauthorized persons or entities" (A.R.S. 32-1932.A.9). Failure to do so can result in "a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each offense and deny, suspend or revoke any permit… or place a permittee on probation (A.R.S. 32-1932.A).
Here are some suggestions to prevent diversion. These are only suggestions and are not required to be done by law. Doing any of these actions DOES NOT eliminate the store's responsibility to submit required reports to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
- Keep the product behind the counter (customer service, register, pharmacy, back room, etc.). This decreases the possibility of theft of the product, allows you to monitor and control the sale of the product, and decreases the likelihood of meth lab operators asking for the product.
- Ask for identification of all who want to purchase the product. Those who want to divert the product do not want to be identified and thus are less likely to come to your place of business to do so.
- Limit the amount of product that can be purchased at one time. Meth lab operators want to obtain as much product as they can. By having a store policy that limits the amount of product that can be purchased during one transaction, this can severely limit their ability to do divert from your store. Most will try to get the product from other stores that do not have limits. Limiting the quantity of product sold is ineffective if the person is allowed to purchase the limit at each of the stores registers.
- Provide training on the precursor chemical laws, the reporting requirement, how to identify precursor chemicals and how to identify a suspicious transaction to all store employees.
Arizona law identifies the following categories affected by these reporting statutes:
- A Manufacturer means you manufacture any narcotic or dangerous drug or any other substance controlled by these regulations.
- A Wholesaler means, if in the course of business, you lawfully supply narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, precursor chemicals or regulated chemicals that you did not manufacture yourself. You supply those substances to others for purposes other than personal use or consumption. A wholesaler also includes a person who sells, delivers, or dispenses a precursor chemical in an amount or under circumstances that would require your registration as a distributor of precursor chemicals under the Federal Act. This category applies whether you have an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit or not. Out of state wholesalers must have an Arizona Board of Pharmacy permit and must sell only to persons with permits. This restriction also applies to internet sellers.
- A Retailer means you are a person other than a practitioner (a person licensed to prescribe and administer drugs) who sells any precursor or regulated chemical to another person for purposes of personal consumption and not resale. This category applies whether you have an Arizona Board of Pharmacy permit or not. This category also applies to you if you are not a manufacturer or wholesaler, but you receive or acquire more than twenty-four (24) grams of pseudoephedrine or more than two ounces of iodine.
A manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person who sells, transfers or otherwise furnishes any precursor or regulated chemical to any person in this state shall submit a "Precursor and Regulated Chemical Report" to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. This report shall be submitted not less than twenty-one (21) days before delivery of the substance, unless an exemption has been granted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety allowing a monthly report for repeated, regular transactions. A manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person who receives a precursor or regulated chemical from a source outside of this state shall submit a report of such transaction.
Reporting requirements do not apply to the following:
- The sale, transfer or furnishing of ordinary ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, (-) norpseudo- ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine products (See A.R.S. 13-3401.22 for definition).
- The sale for personal use of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, (-) norpseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine products totaling four packages or less.
- The sale, transfer or furnishing of a precursor or regulated chemical by a wholesaler or manufacturer if both parties to the transaction possess a valid and current Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit and a valid and current Precursor Chemical I List Distributor Registration issued pursuant to the Federal Act.
- The sale, transfer, or furnishing to or by any practitioner or any pharmacist acting pursuant to a prescription.
- The sale, transfer or furnishing of iodine in an amount of two ounces or less by weight; to a licensed or permitted wholesaler, health care facility, pharmacy or practitioner; or as a tincture of iodine or topical solution of iodine.
- The sale, transfer or furnishing to or by a hospital, long-term health care provider or managed health care provider or any other licensed or permitted health care provider that administers or dispenses Precursor Chemical I medication under the supervision of a practitioner.
- The movement from one facility of a licensee or permittee to another facility of the same licensee or permittee without sale.
- The sale, transfer or furnishing of dietary supplements if all the requirements under 13-3404.I.6 are applicable.
Suspicious Transaction Reports
Any manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer or other person who sells, transfers or otherwise furnishes any precursor or regulated chemical to any person in this state in a suspicious transaction shall report the event in writing on the Arizona Department of Public Safety Precursor and Regulated Chemical Program's "Suspicious Transaction Record" form.
A suspicious transaction means all transactions involving circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that any person is attempting to possess a precursor or regulated chemical for the purpose of unlawful manufacture of a dangerous or narcotic drug, based on such factors as the amount involved, the method of payment, the method of delivery and any past dealings with any participant. In addition, all transactions involving payment for a precursor or regulated chemical in cash or money order in a total amount of more than $200 and all transactions involving the sale, transfer or furnishing to a retailer for resale without a prescription of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, (-)-norpseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine that is not an ordinary product are required to be reported.
The following are factors which may suggest a suspicious transaction. There may be a legitimate explanation for a purchase that presents one or more of these factors. The list is presented as a guide to instruct retailers and their employees as to which transactions may be suspicious.
- Customers who attempt to purchase the transaction limit of a precursor or regulated chemical.
- Customers who are part of a group, each of whom purchases a precursor or regulated chemical.
- Customers who purchase a precursor or regulated chemical repeatedly on the same day or within a few days.
- Customers who buy other methamphetamine processing products at the same time as the precursor or regulated chemical or purchase three or more of the following products in combination: (alcohol, Coleman fuel, acetone, road flares, drain cleaners, tincture of iodine, muriatic acid, rock salt, starting fluid (ether), coffee filters, large amounts of matches, etc.)
Theft & Loss Precursor or Regulated Chemicals
The theft, disappearance or loss of any Precursor Chemical II or Regulated Chemical, or the excessive or unusual loss of any Precursor Chemical I, shall be reported in writing on the "Suspicious Transaction Record" form within three (3) days of discovery.
In addition, any difference between the quantity of any Precursor Chemical II or Regulated Chemical received and the quantity shipped, or any excessive or unusual loss of any Precursor Chemical I shipped shall be reporting in writing on the "Suspicious Transaction Record" form within three (3) days of actual knowledge of the discrepancy. Reports shall include the name of the common carrier or person who transported the substance and the date of shipment.
Submission of Reports
The "Precursor and Regulated Chemical Report" forms and the "Suspicious Transaction Record" forms are available forms are available on this website.
Completed forms can be mailed to the ACTIC Watch Center , Arizona Department of Public Safety, Mail Drop 3900, P.O. Box 6638, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6638 ; or faxed to 602-644-8718; or E-Mailed to [email protected].
Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers or other persons who sell, transfer or otherwise furnish any precursor or regulated chemical to any person in the state shall maintain copies of the completed "
According to A.R.S. 13-3404.N, any person, employee or retailer that keeps or files a record as prescribed by the precursor and regulated chemical laws or that communicates or discloses information or records under this law is not liable to its customer, a state or local agency or any person for any loss or damage caused in whole or in part by the making, filing or governmental use of the report or any information contained in that report.
It is a felony for a person to knowingly:
- Fail to submit reports, as required.
- Fail to maintain records, as required.
- Furnish false information or omit information in any report or record.
- Participated in any transactions that are structured with the intent to avoid the filing of any required report under 13-3404.
- Cause another person to furnish false information or to omit any information in any report or record that is required by this section.