Adult use marijuana sales could begin “as soon as late January,” according to Arizona’s Department of Health Services (DHS).
“We are excited to launch the Adult-Use of Marijuana Program and are expecting a smooth Go-Live,” the DHS stated in an email to dispensaries last week.
State regulators have already begun swiftly reviewing marijuana business licenses for existing medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling marijuana to all adults 21 and older. Applications became available to these businesses on January 19.
DHS is ahead of schedule, as Proposition 207, the ballot measure approved by voters in November, gave regulators until March to approve applications from existing medical marijuana establishments for licenses to also dispense adult use marijuana.
As of Tuesday, 40 medical marijuana dispensaries had submitted an application for an adult use license.
The rollout of adult use sales is expected to happen gradually, according to DHS spokesman Steve Elliot. “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,” Elliot said.
Prop. 207 took effect upon the certification of the election results on November 30, 2020.
“I commend state regulators for swiftly working to implement the will of the voters.” said NORML State Policies Coordinator Carly Wolf. “With the overwhelming approval of Prop. 207, Arizonans made their mandate clear. Voters rejected the failed policy of prohibition and instead favor replacing it with a legal, regulated marketplace. The sooner that adults have access to safe and affordable marijuana, the better.”