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U.S. Industry opportunities


How to open a dispensary in Arizona

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Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Act, legalizes the adult recreational use of marijuana, specifically by allowing adults 21 and older in Arizona to possess up to 1 ounce (28 g) of marijuana (with no more than 5 grams being marijuana concentrate), and to have up to 6 marijuana plants at their home (with up to 12 marijuana plants in households with two or more adult members). It directs the state Department of Health Services to set forth rules for retail marijuana sales by June 1, 2021, allow marijuana to be subject to state and local sales taxes like other retail items, and imposes an additional 16% excise tax on marijuana products, with the revenue being split between the state government agencies responsible for activities relating to the act, highways, community college districts, police departments, and fire departments.


The initiative provides that employers may still adopt "drug-free workplace" policies and restrict employees' and applicants' use of marijuana, and provides that the initiative does not permit marijuana use in public spaces. The initiative establishes that the possession of more than an ounce (28 g), but less than 2.5 ounces (71 g), of marijuana, by an adult is a petty offense. The initiative prohibits the sale of marijuana products that resemble a "human, animal, insect, fruit, toy or cartoon" and sets forth penalties for possession of marijuana by minors (which, for a first offense for possession of under an ounce of marijuana, is a $100 fine and drug counseling)

License Types

Marijuana facility agent license

Marijuana establishment license

Testing facility license

Cultivation license

Dispensing license


To apply for a marijuana establishment, a non-refundable application fee of $25,000 is due, as well as an annual renewal fee of $5,000. To add a manufacturing or cultivation site, it is an additional $2,500. 


For a marijuana testing facility, a non-refundable fee of $25,000 is due at the time of application, as well as a yearly $5,000 renewal fee. 

Arizona Marijuana History

January 2021. Arizona begins retail sale of recreational marijuana. 


November 3, 2020. The state passes proposition 207 by roughly 60%, legalizing recreational adult-use, and spurring the Department of Health to establish guidelines and regulations for the market. 


June 7, 2019. Senate Bill 1494 was passed into law, calling for the Department of Health to require cannabis testing through a licensed testing laboratory. 


May 28, 2019. Cannabis extracts were ruled to be legal by the Arizona Supreme Court. Extracts are now included in the medical marijuana program, allowing medical dispensaries to sell them. 

November 2010. Medical marijuana is legalized through a majority vote of Proposition 203. The Arizona Department of Health was tasked with established regulations and guidelines for the program, including qualifying conditions and dispensary licensing. 

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Estimated market size

As of October 2019, there were 205,104 qualified patients in Arizona with licenses to purchase medical marijuana from state-licensed nonprofit dispensaries. Sales grew by 42% in 2018, with 61 tons of marijuana sold, representing an estimated total revenue of $400 million. Sales of edible products and other concentrated forms of consumption grew by 55%, while dried flower sales grew by 40%.

how to start a marijuana business arizona

If you are just starting your marijuana business, the next best step is to start a Business Plan to help educate your team and be ready to apply for a marijuana business license. If you are ready to apply for a Marijuana Business License in Arizona, please Contact us or call our offices to set an appointment to get started. You can also select another State Opportunity, or fill out our Contact Form to discuss potential strategies such as Investment or Partnership Opportunities. 

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