PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona officials on Monday issued 13 more licenses for marijuana stores in eight rural counties as the state expands access to recreational marijuana approved by voters last year.
Accountants hired by the Arizona Department of Health Services used a bingo machine Monday to randomly select lottery winners, who will be allowed to sell marijuana to adults. Arizona has had medical marijuana dispensaries for a decade. Voters last year approved selling the drug to all adults regardless of medical conditions through a limited number of licensed stores. There are currently more than 100 recreational dispensaries operating in the state.
Under the terms of Proposition 207, people 21 and older can grow their own plants and legally possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana or a smaller quantity of “concentrates” such as hashish. Possession of between 1 ounce and 2.5 ounces (70 grams) is a petty offense carrying a maximum $300 fine. Arizona prosecutors dropped thousands of marijuana possession cases after the measure was approved. Possession in the state became legal when the election results were certified on Nov. 30 but legal purchasing options are limited by the number of licensed dispensaries.
Licenses issued Monday were for stores in Apache, Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties.