Proposition 207 & Recreational Use in Arizona

Prop 207 – What is Prop 207?

Arizona’s Proposition 207, passed by voters in November 2020, creates an adult-use program allowing anyone over 21 to purchase legal cannabis in AZ without a medical card. It does not remove the medical program. Patients with cards will continue to have access to medical potency, allotment and lower tax rates. The main benefits of this program are expanded access, safety, state tax revenue and the reduction of cannabis-related policing.

Timeline – When Can I Purchase Adult-Use Cannabis?

Possession and grow rights are expected to go into effect once election results are certified (likely December 2020). However, dispensaries will not begin selling to the public until at least March or April 2021, once AZDHS has issued adult-use licenses.

Medical – How Does Prop 207 Affect the Medical Program?

Prop 207 does not affect the medical marijuana program established in 2010 under Prop 203. In fact, there are many benefits to remaining or becoming a medical patient, including:

  • Lower taxes: card-holding medical patients will not pay the 16% excise tax applied to adult-use cannabis sales under Prop 207. They will continue paying applicable local taxes.
  • Possession: medical patients can continue to purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces every 2 weeks with no restrictions on concentrates.
  • Potency: Potency for adult-use edibles will be capped at 100mg per edible; medical products will not be subject to these limits.
  • Age restrictions: Qualifying patients under 21 will still be able to purchase medical cannabis; individuals must be 21 or older to purchase adult-use cannabis.

Possession – How Much Recreational Cannabis Can I Possess?

Adults (aged 21 or older) will be allowed to possess one ounce of marijuana for recreational use, with no more than 5 grams of it being marijuana concentrates (extracts).

Personal Cultivation – Can I Grow at Home?

Individuals living alone can grow a maximum of six marijuana plants in their residence and residences of two or more individuals can grow 12 plants, as long as the plants are in a lockable enclosed area away from public view.

Prop 207 Restrictions – What Are the Restrictions?

  • Possession: Possessing more than one ounce but less than 2.5 ounces will result in a petty offense.
  • Public Consumption: Marijuana use will remain illegal in public places, such as parks, sidewalks, and restaurants. Operating a vehicle, such as a car, boat, or plane, while impaired will also remain illegal.
  • Edible Potency: Marijuana edibles will be limited to a maximum of 10mg of THC per edible and a maximum of 100mg of THC per package of edibles.

Protections for Children – How Will Children Be Protected?

Prop. 207 protects children by requiring all packaging be childproof and labeled, bans advertising to children and bans the sale of gummy bears, gummy worms and other products that resemble kids’ candy.

Taxation – How Will Adult-Use Cannabis Be Taxed?

The same 16% tax that is on cigarettes and alcohol will be applied to adult-use marijuana sales, in addition to existing sales taxes. The revenue from the tax will go towards funding state agencies, including community college districts, addiction treatment services and the Highway User fund.

Social Impact and Reform – What is the Social Impact of Prop 207?

The proposition will implement a “Social Equity Ownership Program,” which prioritizes issuing licenses to owners who are “from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.” Additionally, people previously convicted of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana or growing six or fewer plants will be able to petition to have their record expunged stating July 12, 2021.

Oversight – Who Oversees the Program?

Prop. 207 gives the Arizona Department of Health Services the authority to oversee the safe sale of marijuana, including testing and inspecting products sold. ADHS is required by Prop 207 to establish specific regulations by April 5, 2021.

DHS is required by Prop 207 to first accept license applications from existing nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries, which are eligible to hold both medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana licenses, and potential marijuana businesses within counties that have one or zero nonprofit dispensaries.

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