After having seen the positive effects of the medical cannabis market in the state, voters are increasingly optimistic about the economic and social value of recreational cannabis in the state. Since its launch in 2010, Arizona’s medical marijuana program has served over 225,000 patients in the state, selling more than $500 million of medical marijuana and generating approximately $46 million in state tax revenue in 2018 alone. The Smart and Safe Act encourages these medical marijuana businesses to expand in the state by offering these license holders first priority to adult-use licenses.
Under the Smart and Safe Act, cannabis sales would be taxed at 16 percent. Adults would be able to possess up to an ounce of cannabis at a time and cultivate up to 6 plants for personal use. The Act would initially cap the number of retail stores at 150 statewide, but a number of these licenses will be reserved for rural and social equity communities. Tax revenues would cover cannabis program implementation costs, as well as fund community colleges, infrastructure, justice reinvestment, and public services, including police and firefighters. The Department of Health Services would issue and regulate cannabis business licenses, which leaves the decision of allowing delivery services in the agency’s hands.