Yesterday was an amazing day for legal cannabis in the United States. Proposition 207 has passed, legalizing recreational marijuana in Arizona. Possession becomes legal when the election results are certified in about a month and sales should begin in May 2021.
Prop. 207 was nicknamed by some as the “pot prop.” Its official name was “The Smart and Safe Arizona Act.”
So what does this mean for our state, now that it has been approved by voters? The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office described Prop. 207 this way:
The law would allow limited marijuana possession, use, and cultivation by adults 21 or older; amend criminal penalties for marijuana possession; ban smoking marijuana in public; impose a 16% excise tax on marijuana sales to fund public programs; authorize state/local regulation of marijuana licensees; and allow expungement of marijuana offenses.
According to azmarijuana.com, here are 18 facts about Prop. 207:
- 1. Adults 21 and older would be able to possess 1 ounce of marijuana with no more than 5 grams of it being marijuana concentrates (extracts).
- 2. Limits home cultivation to 6 plants at an individual’s primary residence and 12 plants at a residence where two or more individuals who are at least 21 years old residing at one time.
- 3. The Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) would have to establish recreational marijuana regulations on or before April 5, 2021.
- 4. A 16% excise tax (the same as cigarettes and alcohol) would be placed on recreational marijuana products. Money from the excise tax would fund various state agencies and be dispersed between community college districts, police and fire departments, and the Highway User fund.
- 5. Marijuana use would remain illegal in public places (restaurants, parks, sidewalks, etc.). Offenders are guilty of a petty offense.
- 6. No marijuana products could be sold that imitate brands marketed to children or look like humans, animals, insects, fruits, toys or cartoons.
- 7. Marijuana edibles will be limited to a maximum of 10mg of THC per edible and limited to a maximum of 100mg of THC per package of edibles.
- 8. Employers have the right to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.
- 9. Driving, flying, or boating impaired to even the slightest degree by marijuana would remain illegal (i.e., zero-tolerance rule).
- 10. Marijuana testing facilities will test marijuana for harmful contaminants (i.e., pesticides, molds, etc).
- 11. “Qualified early applicants” can apply for a recreational dispensary license (approx. 145 licenses will be available) with AZDHS. Any remaining or additional licenses will be provided by random selection.
- 12. AZDHS may issue a marijuana establishment license (recreational marijuana dispensary license) to no more than two recreational dispensaries per county that contain no medical marijuana dispensaries, or one recreational dispensary license per county that contains one medical marijuana dispensary (AZDHS will accept applications from Jan 19, 2021 – Mar 9, 2021).
- 13. On or before April 5, 2021, medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to sell recreational marijuana to adults until the AZDHS issues licenses for recreational dispensaries.
- 14. Medical marijuana dispensaries that obtain a recreational marijuana dispensary license(s) could operate both entities in the same/shared location.
- 15. Possessing more than 1 ounce but less than 2.5 ounces would be a petty offense. Minors caught with less than 1 ounce would receive up to a $100 fine and 4 hours of drug counseling for a first offense. A second offense would be up to a $100 fine and 8 hours of drug counseling. A third offense would be a class 1 misdemeanor.
- 16. Smoking in a public place would be a petty offense.
- 17. On or after Jan. 1, 2023, the AZDHS can adopt rules to permit recreational marijuana deliveries.
- 18. Beginning July 12, 2021, people convicted previously of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana or six or fewer plants or paraphernalia can petition to have the record expunged.