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How and Who Can Get a Dispensary License in Arizona?

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Acquiring a dispensary license in Arizona is not an easy nor likely process.

Arizona approved Proposition 207 in November 2020; which allows recreational marijuana to be legal for adults 21 years of age and older.

While most of the specifics in regards to who is or isn’t eligible for adult use licenses under the new prop 207 adult-use structure are either available through the Smart & Safe Act or the Second Draft Rules on AZDHS website

The fact is; only individuals eligible for adult-use licenses are pre-existing medical marijuana establishments and social equity applicants. Essentially those who have existing licenses can apply and be awarded adult use licenses. Another option is, you can reach out to companies selling their medical dispensary licenses.. Those can go for close to 15 million + for just the license.

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The county backfill application process does allow for a few licenses to be awarded (8-12) in counties that are missing medical marijuana dispensaries. The details of that can be found on the AZDHS website

Beyond that, we see little opportunity for other individuals to become license holders. You would have to buy an existing license or become a social equity applicant.

The social equity applicants will be awarded 26 licenses coming sometime in the second quarter of 2021. AZDHS will be developing the rules for who is eligible to apply for social equity applicants January 2021.

“What is a dispensary registration certificate?” It is a non-profit license which allows the owner to grow, process and sell marijuana to patients. The application fee for this certificate is $5,000. If the applicant is deemed ineligible, they will receive $1,000 back. 130+ licenses have already been issued by the state of Arizona to date. No more licenses can be issued because of the limitation created by the initiatives.


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