PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) — Arizonans are one step closer to buying legal recreational weed after voters approved Proposition 207 this past fall. As of Tuesday afternoon, 40 of the state’s 131 medical marijuana dispensaries had submitted applications to the Arizona Department of Health Services to sell recreational marijuana.
“We are reviewing the applications in order,” said AZDHS Spokesperson Steve Elliott. “The pace of individual approvals will depend on whether each application is complete.”
It’s unclear when the first application will be approved, but Elliott said they would be completed “promptly.” The owner of Giving Tree dispensary in North Phoenix, Lilach Mazor Power, was one of those that applied Tuesday. Mazor Power says she got up early in the morning to send it in.
“This has been a long journey. And today is a big day for all of us,” Mazor Power said. “Today marks the day that we’re this much closer to be able to share our experience with others.”
It will also mean big business. Giving Tree will soon be moving to a larger location because they expect increased sales with the approval of their new license. Mazor Power says the application for her dispensary to sell recreational marijuana was straightforward, with a $25,000 fee.
Demitri Downing, the Arizona Marijuana Industry Association founder, says that fee is likely a good investment for a medical marijuana dispensary to make.
“If you gave me a suitcase full of cash with $15 million, I would have trouble buying you a license,” Downing said.
Right now, only the 131 medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona are the ones that can apply for a recreational license.
“Everybody’s waiting for that license to be worth 17, 18, 19 million dollars for the right alone — the right alone — to sell adult uses marijuana,” Downing said.
So when can Arizonans buy legal week without a medical marijuana card? While the state is wary of saying when applications will be approved, the owner of Giving Tree thinks it may be sooner than expected.
“Seeing how easy and smooth the application is and how Arizona is on top of it…I think we can say between 48 hours from now. It depends on how long it takes them,” Mazor Power said.
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 up.
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