Prop 207: Arizona Legalizes Marijuana
It's official, flower children! Arizona voters overwhelmingly passed Prop 207 to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. The passage of Prop 207 in Arizona will permit adults who are at least 21 years of age to sell, possess, and consume up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes. (Not all at once, please - trust us.)
Most people of a certain age grew up hearing wild stories and old wives' tales about the dangers of marijuana as a gateway drug. The Mr. Mackey "drugs are bad, mkay?" approach meant many school screenings of the camp classic "Reefer Madness." The movie was shown to teens as iron-clad proof that pot created drug-crazed people, scaring exactly no one. Aside from a lot of muffled giggling during this ludicrously funny film, many already knew the reality of marijuana was quite different from the picture painted by worried parents, government officials, and 1930s propaganda films. (BTW: Throwing a legalized Reefer Madness celebration viewing party would be lit - socially distanced, or in person, once the pandemic is over, of course.)
With cannabis (the preferred term) now legal in some form in 36 states and completely legal in 15 of them, attitudes and approaches have clearly shifted over the years. Medical researchers began studying the properties of cannabis and its components. New medicines, discoveries of more beneficial effects, and word of mouth testimonials helped more people warm to the idea that weed is not the bogeyman it was often portrayed to be. Established legal markets began to mature in early legal states like Colorado (1996) and Alaska, Washington, and Oregon (1998), yet, the dire predictions of marijuana-fueled mayhem didn't happen. The pressure for legalization began to grow nationwide. Cannabis operations being deemed essential businesses during the pandemic showed that to many people, cannabis is medicine. And for others, it's merely a natural way to relax, chill out, and enjoy the moment. And now, it's legal!
Arizona Legalizes Marijuana: Here's What Changed
The approval of Prop 207 changes Arizona to allow adults at least 21 years of age to sell, possess, and consume up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes. Legalization brings recreational markets out of the shadows and into the light of legitimacy.
- Legalized the sale, possession, and consumption of one ounce of marijuana (of which 5 grams can be concentrate) for adults at least 21 years old.
- An estimated $300 million in new revenue annually to fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs, and infrastructure.
- Ban smoking marijuana in public places like restaurants and open spaces like sidewalks and parks.
- Generate more than $30 million annually for addiction prevention, substance treatment, teen suicide prevention, mental health programs, and justice reinvestment projects.
- Provides the option for people previously convicted of low-level marijuana charges to have their criminal records sealed, which can improve job opportunities, especially for minorities and women.
Facts of Legalizing Weed in Arizona
Over the past decade, the Arizona medical cannabis industry has created thousands of new jobs. Since all legal sales of cannabis are subject to the state's 5.6 percent sales tax, new tax revenues have flowed into our state and local budgets. Full legalization will add recreational weed into the mix, so it’s likely we’ll see record amounts of revenue generated by new and existing cannabis users buying legal cannabis products.
New Jobs: legal cannabis sales create an abundance of new industry opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs and established enterprises, bringing new jobs into our state economy.
New Tax Revenues: The estimated $400 million in medical marijuana sales in 2018 returned a whopping $22.4 million in revenue to the state! Additional city and county taxes that range from 0.25 percent to 4 percent, medical cardholder fees and renewals also contribute to the total tax revenue. Recreational sales will give our state much needed additional funds for supporting community colleges, public safety, public health programs, and infrastructure projects.
Safety & Quality: Legalizing weed also increases the safety and quality of products. Enacting strict labeling and dosage standards is unlikely to happen with cannabis sold on the shadow market. Packages of edibles and other products will be limited to a maximum of 100mg of THC content in measured doses, so there is less chance of accidental over-consumption.
According to Cannabis Dispensary Magazine and BDSA research, "Arizona has a thriving medical market. It will continue to grow and build off a very, very strong foundation the 130 or so medical dispensaries have already built." BDSA believes the Arizona recreational market will launch by the end of 2021; however, many local officials and dispensaries think it could be sooner. Only time will tell - but until then, at least we're on the right track!
Whether you're new to cannabis or a seasoned connoisseur, the friendly budtenders at The Flower Shop will be happy to answer any questions you may have about cannabis, different strains, their effects, and various delivery methods. Keep checking our website for updates on legal recreational product sales and the timelines.