With the passage of adult-use legalization for recreational cannabis in Arizona, marijuana enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting for dispensary openings since it was on the ballot in November. Boasting one of the strongest medical marijuana markets in the entire country, Arizona is well prepared to break into the recreational scene with a ton of success. In fact, Arizona officially had the fastest turnaround time from vote to opening ever. In just a few months, the state was able to capitalize on the vote in record setting speed, overcoming Nevada’s previously impressive eight month accomplishment.
As soon as the vote had passed medical marijuana dispensaries across the state were rushing to apply to sell recreational cannabis. The Arizona Department of Health Services has been as diligent as possible in keeping up with the demand and approving dispensaries to move forward with sales. With over 150 dispensaries potentially eligible to sell recreational marijuana, the cannabis market is poised to have an extremely successful 2021 in Arizona.
After the disappointing outcome of the 2016 ballot where Arizona was the sole state to not pass recreational marijuana, this comes as a long awaited gift. In 2016, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada all had recreational marijuana on the ballot and all legalized adult-use. Arizona cannabis dispensaries were extremely disappointed to learn that they were the only state unable to move forward with recreational sales. Nevertheless, they are finally at the point where they can capitalize on a much needed market.
In addition to delighting the residents and dispensary owners throughout Arizona, the legalization has also benefitted the state greatly. First of all, the Department of Economic Security is breathing a sigh of relief as they struggle to keep up with the number of unemployment claims. The legalization of recreational marijuana already has them feeling much more optimistic about the growing number of jobs in the state. Hundreds of new jobs will be posted to adhere to the rapid demand in recreational marijuana sales.
In addition to inevitable job growth, tax revenue is going to start coming in. Arizona’s public health programs, public safety, infrastructure projects, and community colleges will all reap the benefits of the 16 percent excise tax on retail sales of marijuana.
All in all, we are excited for Arizona to join the growing number of states who see the clear advantages of recreational cannabis. With growing competition of shops across the state, each dispensary will be pushed to cultivate high quality flower and thus enrich the entire state. Congratulations to all of the Arizona dispensaries, cannabis enthusiasts, and residents. We look forward to visiting soon!