Big Numbers (and a Few Surprises) in Arizona's 2020 Marijuana Report

pennies piled together with a cannabis bud on top of three

The Arizona Department of Health Services has issued its end-of-year report for 2020, and to the surprise of virtually no one, medical marijuana sales increased year-over-year, for the eighth year in a row.

Arizonans purchased 106 tons of cannabis products from dispensaries in 2020, according to the report, and all signs point to much higher numbers in 2021.

That's due largely to the fact that recreational cannabis is now legal for adults to buy as of January 22, 2021. 


Cannabis and the South: How Things Change

tree growing in the forest

When it comes to the North vs the South in America, there is usually a pretty evident divide when it comes to social issues. From abortion to religion in schools to drugs, the South is generally slower to adopt new policies. In the case of cannabis and the south, a lot of change has happened in the last few years, signaling a massive shift in overall public perspective.


Arizona: Recreational cannabis sales begin weeks earlier than expected

crowd gathering outside dispensary

In a move that gave local cannabis watchers—and many dispensary owners—a serious case of whiplash, the Arizona Department of Health Services gave the green-light to recreational pot sales late last month, catching a lot of people in the industry off guard.

Harvest Enterprises, Inc., founded by CEO and Tempe native Steve White, had the first-ever Arizona adult use sale in its Scottsdale location and Harvest became the first Tucson-area dispensary to sell recreational marijuana, with patients waiting in line for hours outside the midtown outlet at 2734 E. Grant Road, on opening weekend.


Arizona Issues Interim Final Regulations AND New Recreational Licenses

arizona road sign

Exciting times have arrived in Arizona’s cannabis industry! The Arizona Department of Health Services (the “Department”) (1) released final interim rules for recreational licensees, and (2) issued new recreational licenses. As noted by Marijuana Moment’s Kyle Jaeger, the marks the fastest transition from voter approval to sales implementation of any state that has legalized marijuana to date.


Arizona models marijuana cultivation after California dispensaries

man stocking a shelf at dispensary

As Arizona learns the ropes of legal, recreational marijuana, California has become the expert for preparing for, and adapting to the spike in customers.

Arizona cultivators are going to have to ramp up their marijuana production to keep up while still giving priority to medical patients.


There are now nearly 100 approved recreational licenses in Arizona.

Spencer Andrews, public affair director for March and Ash in Imperial says the dispensary saw a 20% increase in sales since it made the switch in August 2020. Although, it still provides options for medical customers.


Arizona Has the Fastest Start to the Adult-Use Cannabis Market

large jars of cannabis

Arizona voters approved the sales of adult use cannabis back in November and by January some providers were able to begin sales. It was called the Smart and Safe Arizona Act or Prop. 207, and it favored existing medical marijuana license holders. The companies that staked a flag in the state for the medical program were in a great position to quickly hit the ground running.


"Historically, this is massive. We're already one of the strongest medical markets in the country, and this is just going to make things bigger," said Pankaj Talwar, CEO of four Sol Flower dispensaries in the Metro Phoenix area.


Arizona: Recreational marijuana dispensaries battling large crowds and possible shortages

three people lined up behind each other

Recreational marijuana sales in Arizona officially began Friday, after the state granted 73 dispensaries a license. However, it will still be some time before you're able to buy pot in Yuma County.


The Arizona Department of Health Services has now approved 90 recreational marijuana dispensaries in Arizona, including Jamestown Yuma, the only dispensary in the county.

But, Jamestown Yuma says its not selling recreationally just yet. Its management wants to make sure they have enough staff and are prepared for the large crowds.

Meanwhile, Robert Smith, director of sales and marketing at Territory Dispensary in Maricopa County had all its labeling done in advance.


Arizona officials approve first licenses for recreational marijuana sales

shelf with arranged little glass jars filled with cannabis

Arizona officials on Friday approved the first 86 licenses for marijuana dispensaries to sell cannabis to adults for recreational use.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said six other applications submitted since the process began Wednesday remain under review.

The approved sites can start selling marijuana for recreational as soon as they are ready, according to an ADHS spokesman.

Fifty-six of the newly licensed dispensaries are in the Phoenix area.

In November, Arizona voters approved Prop 207 to legalize sales and possession of 1 ounce or less for non-medicinal purposes for people ages 21 and up.

Applicants had to undergo an FBI background check and pay a $25,000 fee to ADHS.


Recreational marijuana sales in Arizona could start this week

dispensary worker holding out cannabis buds for a customer

Marijuana sales to anyone 21 or older in Arizona could start within a day or two, with state health officials telling dispensaries they are poised to issue licenses for recreational sales.

The first stores able to sell recreational marijuana and marijuana products, such as vape pens and gummy edibles, are existing medical-marijuana dispensaries. Some of those businesses said Tuesday they are awaiting approval from state regulators to show up online so they may open their doors to anyone with a state-issued ID. 

"I'm sitting here at my computer hitting refresh, refresh," said Raúl Molina, a partner and senior vice president of operations for The Mint dispensaries in Mesa and Guadalupe.


10 questions answered about growing cannabis at home in Arizona

close image of cannabis and greens growing

The passage of Proposition 207 in Arizona, legalizing recreational cannabis, ushers in a new opportunity for the home gardener. Adults ages 21 and older are now allowed to grow a limited amount of cannabis plants at home for personal use. 

"We don’t see any difference between growing cannabis and growing vegetables and growing lavender, they're all plants," said Ryan Jerrell, co-owner of Dig It Gardens in Phoenix.

But like growing any plant, it can be easy to overthink it, he said.


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