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Arizona sold its first legal recreational marijuana products in January, only just two months after the Arizonian voters approved cannabis legalization in the November votes.

Arizona's health services department notified the public on January 22, 2021, that it had collected 79 requests to trade adult-use cannabis. As per that day, the department had licensed 73 of the total 79 businesses to trade recreational marijuana, while the remaining 6 were under review.

While awarding the licenses, Arizona's health services department prioritized medical cannabis businesses already running in the State.

Marijuana Laws In Arizona

As per Proposition 207 terms, the ballot measure issue passed by Arizonian voters in November 2020, the state residents who are 21 years old and above can now possess smaller portions of concentrates or up to 28 grams of marijuana. This proposition allows personal cannabis cultivation but under particular guidelines.

From the health department report, Arizona will permit adult-use marijuana deliveries immediately after finalizing its applicable regulations.

After the marijuana launch on January 22, 2021, many Arizona dispensaries recorded long customer lines out the door. This record even had some sellers worried that their cannabis products would give out.

Yes, this customer demand may decrease after some time, but many cannabis analysts' views give hope for the industry's economic future.

Liz Connor, Headset's director of analytics, argues that it takes some time for each market to find its way from the ground. After this, the supply will outstrip customer demand, whereby each customer wants to purchase some, but the available stock cannot accommodate each one of them.

However, this demand will decrease drastically after each customer purchases the product. As per Liz Connor, cannabis demand will go through the same process in Arizona.

She argues that it will take around 7 months before Arizona's cannabis market gets the standard rate, where marijuana supply meets the customer demand.

Recreational Marijuana Launch

Recreational marijuana became available officially in Arizona on January 22, 2021. Many dispensaries like The Mint and Territory decided to sell marijuana products as early as 4:20 P.M the same day.

Arizona state officials had approved 73 licenses by that day, and still more licenses are under review. Most of those dispensaries approved hadn't recorded any previous violations of medical cannabis state rules. As a result, this explains why these dispensaries received their licenses quickly.

ADHS also gave priority to established medical businesses that had applied for the recreational licenses. ADHS made this decision because of several reasons.

Primarily, ADHS decided this because Arizona State wants to see the local businesses thriving and therefore, preferred to prioritize them.

Smaller marijuana dispensaries have to wait for some time to get things running smoothly and can't promote or expand as fast as large-sized, already-set medical dispensaries. The recreational sales application process costs as high as $25,000.

Furthermore, as per the individuals who crafted the Proposition 207 terms, the already-established medical dispensaries in Arizona should first receive the licenses to run recreational marijuana sales.

The individuals figured that the other companies should wait for some years for the businesses to thrive. Proposition 207 proponents made this decision because they feared an illegal market could develop like California, where illegal cannabis sales remain significantly high.

Companies Rolling In For Recreational Marijuana Stake

Arizona has around 120 running medical dispensaries. Most of these medical dispensaries belong to companies owning over one location.

Curaleaf is one of these companies with 8 medical dispensaries in this State, all of which have received licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

Harvest is another company with 13 medical dispensaries in this State, all of which have also received licenses to sell recreational marijuana.

The public can now purchase recreational marijuana from these businesses, which have recorded long lines and strong sales.

In Scottsdale, the Harvest medical dispensary recorded huge crowds rolling in, on January 22, 2021. On January 23, 2021, around 50 individuals lined up in the rain, over an hour to buy cannabis from Curaleaf in Phoenix.

Arizona Recreational Marijuana Sales

Arizona's marijuana sales keep rising every day since they first came into the state market in 2012. The State's marijuana sales increased by 27% from 83 tons in 2019 to 106 tons in 2020.

Right, Arizona has around 300,000 individuals with medical cannabis cards, allowing them to buy up to around 71 grams of marijuana every two weeks.

Yes, the recreational marijuana limit stands at 28 grams, but there's no limit on the number of times one can buy adult-use marijuana from the Arizona dispensaries.

Besides this, those having medical cannabis cards can purchase higher-potency items. However, recreational users can only consume THC measuring utmost 10 mg per serving involving the cannabis edible they purchase.

As per Arizona's Smart and Safe act, the excise tax for adult-use cannabis stands at 16%, which matches the State's tobacco and alcohol taxes. However, patients having a medical cannabis card don't pay this tax.

Possessing Cannabis In Arizona

Yes, medical and adult marijuana remains legal in Arizona, but you have to adhere to the legal limits on the quantity of marijuana to possess.

Adults who are 21 years old and above can purchase up to 28 grams of cannabis-infused products or marijuana and ensure that less than 5 grams of the products exist in the concentrated form.

Besides this, adults can give cannabis to adults who are 21 years old and above, but the product must be 28 grams utmost.

A qualifying patient and their caregivers can legally purchase cannabis measuring up to 70 grams.

Patients/caregivers can present medical marijuana to other registered designated caregivers or patients but ensure they don't exceed the possession limits or exchange anything of value.

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For cannabis consumption in Arizona, the law required adults or medical patients to take marijuana privately. However, patients can take cannabis edibles publically.

The law does not allow Arizona passengers and drivers to take marijuana in any vehicle. Moreover, the law does not allow drivers to drive under marijuana influence.

Nursing care institutions also have the right to regulate medical marijuana usage by their residents. However, these institutions can't unreasonably restrict registered patients' medical marijuana uses.

Recreational Marijuana Sales in Arizona Conclusion

The program has been off to a great start. Hopefully smaller dispensaries will get a shot to sell recreational marijuana sooner than later. And welcome Arizona to the recreational marijuana state family.

Let the Cannabis Training University be your source of information and tips if you're wanting to learn more about cannabis.

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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