Prop 207: Arizona 2020 Elections
After years of careful work, the study of operations and policies in fully legal states, and a carefully crafted initiative to legalize recreational use for adults in Arizona, the voters are ready to speak. Let’s start by recognizing the positive support that legalizing weed, also commonly referred to as cannabis will bring to this state. Arizona stands to benefit from a huge influx of tax revenues that will recapture revenue and tax dollars for our local economy, communities, and state. Specifically, an estimated $300 million in new revenue annually to fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs, and infrastructure. Legalization will also help ease the burden on law enforcement, our prisons, and put an end to disproportionate punishment. It also improves job opportunities for all, but especially for minorities and women.
The Basics of Prop 207
The passage of Prop 207 in Arizona permits adults at least 21 years of age to sell, to possess, and consume up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes. Bringing recreational markets out of the shadows and into the light of legitimacy. Prop 207 in the State of Arizona would:
- Legalize the sale, possession, and consumption of up to one ounce of marijuana (of which 5 grams can be concentrate) for adults at least 21-years-old;
- Ban smoking marijuana in public places like restaurants and open spaces
- Dedicate more than $30 million annually towards addiction prevention, substance abuse treatment, teen suicide prevention, mental health programs, and justice reinvestment projects;
- Work to allow the option of having low-level marijuana-related criminal records sealed for those who were previously convicted
Prop 207 Arizona - The Next Steps
Recreational users would be quite excited by the passage of Prop 207. Unfortunately, everyone who’s planning to celebrate the new year by lining up at the local dispensary on January 2, 2021 to purchase legal cannabis will be disappointed. There are many interim steps and arrangements that need to take place before legal adult recreational products can be purchased by the general public.
The Department of Health Services will not begin accepting adult-use business permit applications until January 19, 2021, and the application period closes less than two months later, on March 9th. Social equity licenses will be issued at most six months after the department finalizes rule making and policies.
Lessons learned from other states as they’ve developed their legal markets would be applied to Arizona. This includes prohibiting products that look like candy from being packaged and marketed in any way that appeals to children ⎯ for example, gummy bears and gummy worms. To prevent accidental overdosing, the maximum amount of THC in recreational edibles individually is capped at 10mg per piece, with a maximum allowable THC amount of 100mg per package. Depending on how quickly the department moves, recreational sales could begin as soon as late January in existing dispensaries. If Arizona legalizes marijuana, we’ll be ready.