Arizona legalized adult-use cannabis: What does this mean?

Arizona will be issuing 26 social equity licenses that will be available to the public to apply for. These licenses will add 26 more dispensaries on top of the approx 130 operating medical dispensaries. Those 130 dispensaries will be issued a recreational license beginning April 2021.

Here a few things right off the bat to know about legalization in Arizona:

It becomes legal November 30th 11 am when The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office certifies the ballots

It will not be fully available to adult-use 21+ until April 2021.

Recreation and medical: 

  • No smoking in public

Can you go out and buy cannabis right now?

No. You will be able to purchase cannabis as soon as April 5, 2021. Dispensaries have not yet gotten their recreational license. Once the dispensaries do get their recreational license they will be able to sell both medical and recreational cannabis products.

Arizona dispensary should be obtaining a recreational license by sometime in April 5th, 2021

Does it affect medical cardholders?

No. Medical patients are protected by the patient’s act. Medical users will still have access to their usual mg to be able to purchase medicine over 100mg.

A few differences between medical and recreational:

Medical card users:

  • Allotment of 2.5 oz
  • Less wait time at dispensaries
  • A normal tax of 5%
  • Access to higher mg doses
  • Protected by patient act rights

Recreational users:

  • Allotment of 1 oz – (possessing more than an oz but less than 2.5 oz would be a petty offense. Minors caught with less than 1 oz would receive up to a $100 fine and four hours of drug counseling for a first offense. A second offense would be a $100 fine and eight hours of drug counseling. A third offense would be a class 1 misdemeanor)
  • A higher tax of 16% enforced
  • Edibles 100mg capped / 5 cartridges max
  • No RSO (Rick – Simpson Oil)
  • 21+ can grow up to 6 plants – 12 plants per household
  • Marijuana use would remain illegal in public places (restaurants, parks, sidewalks, etc). Offenders are guilty of a petty offense

More information about this legalization can be found here:,Marijuana_Legalization_Initiative(2020)

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