Arizona’s overwhelming approval of Prop 207 in AZ in November 2020 opened the doors to new economic opportunities for businesses in the Grand Canyon state.

But Prop 207 doesn’t just affect businesses. It legally provides cannabis users an opportunity to use cannabis flower and related products, including vapes, concentrates, tinctures, and edibles.

More importantly, people convicted with low-level marijuana charges have the potential to have those charges erased.

The Basics of Prop 207 AZ

The passage of Prop 207 in AZ allows adults at least 21 years of age to sell, possess, and consume up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Prop 207 and Arizona Businesses

Parts of the newly enacted Prop 207 Smart and Safe Act laws have been gradually rolling out since January 2021. The Arizona Department of Health Services began accepting early applications from businesses on January 19th.

By January 22nd, more than 70 licenses had been issued, including ours! The Flower Shop was one of the first dispensaries to open doors for legal recreational cannabis sales.

The taxes on cannabis will generate an estimated $300 million in new revenue annually to fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs, and infrastructure, earmarking more than $30 million annually for addiction prevention, substance treatment, teen suicide prevention, mental health programs, and justice reinvestment projects.

To date, Arizona has achieved the fastest rollout of recreational products on record. Way to go, Arizona!

Marijuana Expungement

One of the most critical proponents of Prop 207 AZ allows people previously convicted of low-level marijuana charges to have their criminal records sealed or expunged.

According to the Arizona Supreme Court:

“Adult and juvenile arrests, charges, adjudications, convictions, and sentences are eligible for expungement if the applicant meets the requirements,” the court said in the notice.” The expungement process seals records from the public, while keeping them available to the person arrested, charged, adjudicated, convicted, or sentenced.” – Marijuana Moment

Why Marijuana Expungement Matters

The criminalization of marijuana produces systemic injustices resulting in far too many stigmas, prejudices, and untrue beliefs about the nature of people who use cannabis.

Criminalization has generated millions of arrests and incarcerations for the possession or distribution of small amounts of marijuana. It also has skewed heavily towards people of color.

According to the Drug Policy Alliance:

● Drug offenses are the leading cause of arrest in the United States

● In 2019, there were 545,600 arrests for marijuana possession

● Black people are 26% of those arrested but represent just 13.4% of the U.S. population

● Black and white people use and sell drugs at similar rates

● One in five prisoners is incarcerated for drug offenses

● $3.5 billion in taxpayer funds are allocated in 2021 to fund the Drug Enforcement Agency

Arizona’s most recent arrest records show that in 2016, 15,021 people were arrested for marijuana possession, with another 1,252 busted for sales.

NORML Arizona states that “minor offenses still follow people for a lifetime, causing landlords to reject housing applications, limiting opportunities to receive state licenses, and leading many employers to deny jobs to otherwise qualified applicants.

The goal of legislation like Prop 207 is that legalization, marijuana expungement, and social equity programs will right some of these wrongs.

Can Drug Charges Be Expunged?

On July 12th, 2021, Arizona Conviction Expungement became a reality.

The adoption ofProp 207 in AZ allows people to expunge all traces of the following offenses from their records:

● Possessing, consuming, or transporting 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana;

● Possessing, consuming, or transporting 12.5 grams or less of concentrates;

● Possessing, transporting, cultivating, or processing six or fewer marijuana plants;

● Possessing, using, or transporting marijuana paraphernalia.

How to Get a Possession Charge Expunged

The Arizona chapter of NORML offers a streamlined process through its Expungement Central program. You can also apply directly to arizonacourts.gov/Prop207, assuming the website isn’t still crashing from this demand!

Celebrate Marijuana Expungement Legally

Ready to buy some legal cannabis in recognition of Arizona’s marijuana expungement? We think it’s a moment worth celebrating!

Head to one of The Flower Shop’s convenient PhoenixMesa, and Ahwatukee dispensary locations, or order online.