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Recreational Cannabis Sales Begin in Arizona

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jan 25, 2021   
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The first legal recreational cannabis products have been sold in Arizona, barely two months after voters in the state passed a legalization ballot during the November election.

On Friday, January 22, the Arizona Department of Health Services announced that it had received 79 applications to sell adult-use marijuana. Only six of those applications remain under review, leaving 73 businesses now licensed to sell recreational cannabis. Most of these licenses were awarded to medical cannabis dispensaries already operating in the state.

Cannabis in Arizona

Under Proposition 207, the ballot measure that Arizona voters passed in November, state residents aged 21 or older are now allowed to possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of cannabis or a smaller quantity of concentrates. Personal cultivation is also allowed “under specific guidelines.”

According to the Department of Health, adult-use deliveries will be permitted as soon as the department finalizes its relevant regulations.

Following the launch of the market on Friday, many dispensaries in the state were quickly swamped with customers, who formed lines out the door. The zeal even had some store owners concerned that their product supplies would run out. And although this consumer demand may fall over the next few weeks, many industry analysts are hopeful about the sector’s economic future.

“It always takes a while for a market to get up off the ground,” Liz Connors, the director of analytics at Headset, a cannabis industry data company, recently told Analytical Cannabis. “Then immediately afterward we see the supply just totally outstrip demand, like everybody wants to buy some and there is not enough to go around.”

“But that comes down very fast as people get enough product,” she added. “And so I think the same thing is going to happen in Arizona and New Jersey.”

“Usually, we start to see a market from the point where ‘today’s the day we started selling,’ it usually takes six to eight months before we start to get to a normal pace where there’s enough supply to meet demand.”


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