On December 11, the Arizona Department of Health Services released draft regulations for the new adult-use cannabis market.
According to the draft, the majority of the adult-use cannabis licenses in the state will go to the roughly 120 existing medical cannabis businesses that are currently operating in the state. Roughly twelve will then be available in underserved and rural communities, according to state regulators. The state accepted public comments from Arizonans on the regulations until December 17.
The drafted rules also state that the non-refundable application fee for adult-use dispensaries and testing facilities will be set at $25,000.
While regulators still need to develop the social equity program, the initiative passed by Arizona voters in November stated that there will need to be 26 social equity licenses available to those who were disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
Steve Elliot, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said that the social equity rules would be created after they had spoken with stakeholders and public comments on the program were collected.
State officials anticipate the regulations to be finalized in time for the first application process, which is slated to begin on January 19, 2021. According to the initiative passed by Arizonans in November, the state will then need to issue licenses within 60 days of the close date for applications.
The Arizona Department of Health Services updated their website this week to include information on the new adult-use marijuana program. The website provides a program timeline, information on the new law, official updates, and is where final regulations and application forms will be posted when they are available.
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