Recreational Cannabis Sales in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) began accepting applications for the state’s recreational marijuana law this week, which means some dispensaries could start selling marijuana as soon as this week.
“We are excited to launch the Adult-Use of Marijuana Program and are expecting a smooth Go-Live,” the ADHS said in an email to dispensaries this week, The Arizona Republic reported.
Steve Elliott from the ADHS said they are already reviewing 40 applications that they have received.
“We’re not able to provide an ETA, but we have communicated to the industry that we have the systems and processes to move these applications through promptly as long as they are complete,” Elliott stated. “The application is extremely limited with very little information for existing (medical) dispensaries,” and he believes the ADHS could approve applications in just 48 to 72 hours.
Adults 21 and older will be able to buy up to one ounce of recreational marijuana daily from dispensaries that are licensed by the ADHS, with no more than 5 grams being marijuana concentrates (extracts).
A 16% excise tax (similar to alcohol and tobacco) will be added to recreational cannabis sold at Arizona dispensaries. The tax will be used to fund state agencies and community programs. Medical marijuana patients will not have to pay the 16% excise tax.
“Existing medical marijuana dispensaries, once their applications are approved by ADHS, can legally begin selling marijuana to adults who are at least 21 years old. That doesn’t necessarily mean they open right then, since they may need inventory, staff, (Arizona Department of Revenue) paperwork. But they’re legal with our approval.”
Under the state’s new marijuana law, oftentimes referred to as Prop 207 or the Smart and Safe Arizona Act (SSAA), marijuana use is still illegal in public places as well as on federal land such as national parks, but it is only a petty offence instead of a felony.