Arizona was one of four states that voted to legalize recreational marijuana during the November 2020 election. In this blog from ImEPIK, we’ll discuss the current state of cannabis and marijuana in Arizona and how it’s handling the recent legalization of cannabis products for recreational use.

Recreational Sales Started in Arizona in Early 2021

After the November 2020 election, Arizona quickly began to regulate recreational marijuana sales. Cannabis dispensaries started selling recreational marijuana on January 22, 2021 – making Arizona the 15th state to sell legal cannabis broadly. Technically, possession in Arizona became legal as soon as the election results were certified on November 30. But until January, there was no lawful way to purchase marijuana or cannabis products.

Between November and late January, the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services drafted guidelines for cannabis dispensaries and began accepting applications for recreational business licenses.

In total, 73 cannabis business licenses were issued, and sales began on January 22. Medical dispensaries that had already been selling medical cannabis products and wished to expand into recreational sales received licenses first. Maricopa County issued most of these licenses.

The Arizona Department of Health and Human Services continues to review applications for recreational dispensaries and will likely approve new dispensaries as demand increases.

Medical Cannabis Has Been Available in Arizona since 2010

Arizona first legalized medical cannabis in 2010, allowing patients and their caregivers to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis in a 14-day period and to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time.

Medical marijuana was made available to patients with various health conditions, including but not limited to cancer, glaucoma, PTSD, HIV/AIDS, severe and chronic pain, and seizures.

More People Than Ever Are Picking Edibles as Their Medicine of Choice

Edibles have already become much more common in states where recreational cannabis has been legalized, like in Colorado. Edibles are popular because eating edibles is easy, and when digested, the effects of cannabis last longer compared to other methods of consumption like vaping and smoking. This method of cannabis consumption is also easier on the lungs, making it more suitable for those who may have health issues like asthma.

Edibles also do not cause any unpleasant smells and can be consumed in areas where smoking is not allowed. For all of these reasons, we expect that edible sales will continue to grow in Arizona as more people begin to take advantage of the legalization of recreational cannabis.

Contact ImEPIK for Food Safety Training – Create Safer Cannabis Products

At ImEPIK, we’re market leaders in food safety training for marijuana processing and the production of edibles. As states continue to legalize cannabis and marijuana more broadly, producers should prepare for the future when federal regulation takes hold.

Don’t wait – ImEPIK is here to help today. Our food safety courses train your employees on the best practices for creating food-safe cannabis products.

Contact us via our webchat or call us at 866-318-9855 to learn more and see how ImEPIK can help you prepare for the future of cannabis edible production.