ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona dispensaries could start recreational marijuana sales by March

Dec 24, 2020, 11:00 AM | Updated: 3:13 pm
(AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)...
(AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
(AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

PHOENIX — Arizonans can expect to see dispensaries begin to sell recreational marijuana as early as March, after the drug was legalized by voters in November.

Technically, the law went into effect the minute Gov. Doug Ducey certified the election results.

However, there is currently nowhere Arizonans can legally buy marijuana as the Department of Health Services must first issue licenses to sell, according to marijuana lawyer Tom Dean.

“Those licenses will be given to all of the existing medical marijuana dispensaries first,” Dean told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Wednesday. “Those licenses will be issued around the end of March. Then, there are an additional 26 social equity licenses that will be issued at some point later in 2021.

“People will be eligible for one of those types of licenses if they are a member of a community that has been disproportionally impacted by the enforcement of marijuana laws in the past. So perhaps certain ethnic minorities or perhaps certain socioeconomic categories. We don’t know what those criteria exactly will be yet.”

In early November, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced it would begin dismissing marijuana possession and paraphernalia charges that wouldn’t be considered offenses now.

Under Proposition 207, anyone 21 or older is allowed to have up to 1 ounce of cannabis.

A 16% tax on its sale will fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs and roads and highways.

Dean warned that it is important to strictly follow the limitations put forth in the law.

“You don’t want to go over that amount because if you go over it enough, you’re going to get kicked back into the criminal code which is pretty harsh as many marijuana consumers out there know,” he said.

There are also restrictions around growing your own cannabis. Six plants per adult are allowed to be grown at home, with a limit of up to 12 plants per household.

All plants must be in a locked room (indoors or outdoors) to prevent access by minors and away from public view.

“Make sure that you’re following those limitations and avoid the temptation to do more than you’re allowed,” Dean advised.

Those who currently hold medical marijuana cards may want to keep them even though the drug is now legal, as the cards offer legal protection that the new law does not.

“If you’re employed by someone who has drug testing, there are no protections in 207. If you test positive for THC at work, you can be fired for that,” Dean said. “If you’re a medical marijuana patient, however, you cannot. There’s very strong protections.”

He added that medical cards also prevent government interference for parent’s custody agreements and visitations with children.

Arizona is one of 15 states that have approved recreational use of marijuana.

The legalization has been predicted to generate upwards of $300 million annually for the state.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament expected to bring millions of dollars to Scottsdale

Scottsdale will host the inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament this weekend, an event that could bring millions of dollars to the city.
14 hours ago
Blake Masters, candidate for U.S. senator from Arizona, appears with former President Donald Trump ...
Kevin Stone

Trump reportedly delays plan to endorse Masters in Arizona’s US Senate race

Donald Trump is reportedly tapping the brakes on a plan to endorse venture capitalist Blake Masters in Arizona's GOP Senate primary race.
14 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
Jayme West

Phoenix police searching for fire starters from 2020 and armed would-be robber

A Phoenix business was set on fire in July 2020 and police are looking for two suspects caught on camera.
14 hours ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and other senators speak to the press about a bipartisan infrastructure package...
Kevin Stone

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona makes Time list of most influential people for 2022

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was named to Time magazine’s 2022 list of the world's 100 most influential people.
14 hours ago
(Screenshot via ADOT Webcam)...
KTAR.com

Westbound US 60 reopens in Tempe after weekslong repair work

Traffic returned to westbound U.S. 60 in Tempe on Sunday night, after a closure to repair damage caused by a water main break.
14 hours ago
...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
Arizona dispensaries could start recreational marijuana sales by March