Arizona welcomed adult-use cannabis legalization during November’s election, and some three months later it commenced with the sales.
The Grand Canyon state began the application process on Jan. 19. Dispensaries are able to apply online, but must pass an FBI background check and pay a $25,000 application fee to Arizona’s Department of Health Services.
On Friday, the state approved 73 applications out of 79 submitted, kicking off its adult-use cannabis program (h/t Marijuana Business Daily). Out of 15 counties in Arizona, only nine had their dispensaries acquire the license for adult-use sales.
The outlet projects for the state’s recreational market to reach between $375 - $400 million in the first year, and between $700 million and $760 million by 2024.
Adult-use cannabis sales in Arizona are taxed at 16%.
Among large companies who already attained approval for recreational marijuana sales in Arizona are The Mint Dispensary, Columbia Care Inc. (OTCQX: CCHWF), Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF) and Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (OTCQX: HRVSF).
The Mint Dispensary
The Mint Dispensary, a multi-state cannabis operator, has obtained approval to sell adult-use cannabis at its dispensaries in Arizona.
The brand was recently touted as “Most Innovative Medical Cannabis Dispensary” by the international Commercial Cannabis Awards in 2020. Its innovative activities and improvements in the space include:
First to present cannabis kitchen of its kind back in 2018.
Added a huge on-site grow to its flagship location;
Provided a drive-thru at its Tempe dispensary;
Presented a curbside pickup option for cardholders at its Mesa dispensary.
“This is a major cannabis industry milestone – not just for Arizona, but for the entire country,” Brightroot Inc. CEO Eivan Shahara said.
Brightroot is the parent company of the Mint Dispensary.
“This has been a long time coming, as perceptions about marijuana are slowly changing and people are seeing the medicinal benefits," Shahara added.
The Mint Cannabis plans to reach other locations across the USS, both retail stores and cultivation facilities, across Arizona, Michigan, Missouri, and Massachusetts.
“An increased acceptance of cannabis is sweeping the nation, and we want to be a positive agent of change, an ambassador for education, and an innovative problem solver that is filling critical gaps and bringing workable options to meet the demand,” Shahara added.
New York-based Columbia Care officially launched adult-use cannabis sales at its SWC dispensaries in Tempe and Prescott over the weekend.
The SWC dispensaries first opened their doors in 2013.
In addition to those two dispensaries in Arizona, Columbia Care also has cultivation and manufacturing capabilities.
The company is currently licensed in 18 U.S. markets (of which five have now legalized adult-use). “Our SWC team is delighted and grateful to welcome all of Arizona’s adult-use customers to our dispensaries and are eager to share the benefits of cannabis in addressing a broad range of health and wellness needs,” said Chris Ras, Columbia Care’s Regional Vice President, Western U.S.
Curaleaf confirmed Friday that it will commence recreational cannabis sales in its eight dispensaries in Arizona.
The company, one of the first operators in Arizona to start with adult-use cannabis sales, will add a ninth retail store in Arizona in the upcoming months.
Curalef also expects high demand for these products in the state, and plans to add 120 new employees to its existing team of 420.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to finally open our doors to all adult-use consumers and medical patients throughout the state after nearly two million residents voted in favor of Proposition 207 last year," Curaleaf president Steve Cottrell said. "Curaleaf has been an advocate for patient health and wellness in this state for over three years, and we remain committed to serving our customers, both new and existing, during this momentous occasion."
Curaleaf CEO Joe Bayern highlighted benefits the adult-use cannabis market will bring to Arizona.
“Not only will adult-use cannabis generate important tax revenues that will contribute to Arizona's economic recovery from COVID-19, it will also create local jobs and provide necessary funding for Arizona's community and infrastructure needs," he said.
Harvest Health & Recreation
Harvest Health reported Friday it will begin recreational cannabis sales in Arizona.
The Tempe, Arizona-based company currently runs 15 dispensaries spanning Avondale, Casa Grande, Chandler, Cottonwood, Glendale, Guadalupe, Lake Havasu, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Tucson; cultivation facilities in Camp Verde, El Mirage, Phoenix, and Willcox.
It also has processing facilities in Flagstaff and Phoenix.
"We are thrilled to record the first sale and begin offering access to regulated and legal cannabis products to recreational customers on this historic day in Arizona," Harvest Health CEO Steve White said in a statement. "Initial sales commenced only 80 days from the election and 54 days after the election was certified, representing by far the fastest launch to date in history."
White praised the Department of Health Services for expediting this process, and helping operators like Harvest to sell recreationally to Arizonans 21 years of age and older.
"We look forward to serving both medical patients and recreational customers across the state at our retail stores," he added.
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