Adult-use cannabis sales could start this week in Arizona as state health officials said they are set to issue recreational licenses to the state’s current operators who have applied for adult-use licenses within as soon as a day or two, the Arizona Republic reports.
Current medical cannabis licensees said they are just awaiting approval from regulators to show up online.
A spokesman for the Department of Health Services told the Republic that 40 dispensaries had applied to sell adult-use cannabis as of Tuesday afternoon with about two-thirds of current operators yet to apply for recreational licenses.
Businesses interested in selling cannabis to adults must pay a $25,000 fee. There are 131 total medical cannabis dispensaries currently operating in the state.
Raúl Molina, a partner and senior vice president of operations for The Mint dispensaries, said he was sitting at his computer “hitting refresh, refresh.”
“I am so ready. … We expect rushes like 4/20 for probably like 10 to 30 days straight. Basically, it’s going to be 4/20 for a full month.” – Molina to the Republic
DHS spokesman Steve Elliott told the Republic that while officials were unable to provide an ETA the agency has “communicated to the industry that [DHS has] the systems and processes to move these applications through promptly as long as they are complete.”
Elliot told AZ Family that the agency is “reviewing applications in order.”
Under the state’s legalization rules, the state has 60 days to issue a license to dispensaries that apply, and if a decision isn’t made by April 5th, dispensaries in good standing can start selling to anyone 21-and-older.
The state’s implementation of the adult-use program is among the quickest among states that have moved from medical to adult-use sales as Arizona voters only just approved the reforms during November’s General Election.
The state plans to issue another 26 licenses for social-equity applicants in the coming months.
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