The relaxing pastime has been made easier in recent years as more and more states opt for weed legalization.
Doing so has its merits. It makes the industry taxable, and it will protect lots of people from going to prison or paying fines. And, for those who smoke weed, it makes it easier to partake in an activity they enjoy — one they’ve known for years is far from criminal.
Not every state has weed laws that favor smokers, though. And if you’re in the Grand Canyon State, you might be wondering, is weed legal in Arizona?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Is Weed Legal in Arizona?
The election brought lots of change to Arizona — including to its weed laws. Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act.
This legislation has legalized recreational marijuana usage in the state of Arizona. On top of that, an adult can grow up to six cannabis plants in their home. Households with more than one adult can have up to a dozen.
And people can apply for licenses that allow them to sell weed, as well.
This all sounds great, of course, but it doesn’t come into immediate effect. First, the state has to canvass the results and certify the votes cast in favor of Proposition 207. This should be done by November 30, although it could take until early December.
Once the results are certified, people can begin to enjoy some of the benefits of this new legislation. Anyone aged 21 and over can possess up to an ounce of marijuana, or five grams of it if it’s in a concentrated form.
At that time, you can start to grow the allotted amount of plants in your home, too.
But you won’t yet be able to buy weed from dispensaries, nor will you be able to open up a weed-selling business of your own.
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When Does Will Weed Legalization Extend to Dispensaries?
If you plan on selling legal weed in Arizona, you’ll have to follow a few more rules.
For starters, you won’t be able to sell without a license. Even after marijuana becomes legal on November 30th, you won’t be allowed to do so.
You can apply for a license starting on January 19th. After that, the Arizona Department of Health Services will have 60 days to decide whether or not to approve your application.
Keep in mind that the state has a hierarchy for issuing licenses. First, they’ll extend recreational sales licenses to the approximately 120 medical marijuana dispensaries that dot the state. Then, they’ll look to communities that have been adversely affected by
They’ll start with communities that were most damaged by the state’s previous marijuana laws. This caveat was part of Proposition 207, and it’s called the Social Equity Ownership Program. There will be 26 social equity licenses available.
Once licensed sellers have their credentials, though, you will be able to buy legal weed in Arizona. After their plants reach maturation, you can expect to start buying weed in Arizona in March 2021.
What If I Have a Previous Charge For Weed?
Proposition 207 has considered this, too. And Arizonans with a record are in luck — they can have certain previous charges expunged now that marijuana is legal.
Not all drug-related charges will disappear, but you can petition to clear your record if you have faced charges for any of the following one-time crimes:
- Possessing 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana
- Possessing 12.5 grams or less of marijuana concentrate
- Growing six marijuana plants
- Possessing drug paraphernalia
This process won’t be an automatic one, though. You’ll have to petition the state, and you can do so starting on July 12th.
The state can choose to argue that they have “by clear and convincing evidence” that your charges should remain on file. However, the court will grant the petition of the state doesn’t do a good enough job, or if they choose not to debate your request.
This process will likely help hundreds of thousands of Arizonans with prior charges. Felonies on a criminal record can make it hard to get a job — expunging them will open up doors to so many new opportunities.
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Finding Weed in Tucson
Now that weed’s on its way to becoming legal in Arizona, you’re probably wondering where you’ll be able to buy it.
As we said before, the state will issue licenses to pre-existing medical dispensaries first. So, you might want to look up your local hubs in Tucson first — they’ll be some of the first to sell recreational weed to customers 21 and older.
Beyond that, it’s hard to tell where and when dispensaries will open, whether you live in Tucson or another Arizona city. Keep your eyes peeled for new businesses cutting their ribbons if you can’t find a medical seller near you.
Make the Most of Legalized Marijuana
So, is weed legal in Arizona? The answer to that question is yes, but not quite.
You have until November 30th, at which point you can possess small amounts of it. You can grow a few plants at home, too. And it will take a few more months before you can buy weed from dispensaries across the state.
But that’s a short time to wait for legal weed in Arizona. This move will change the state, keeping people out of prison and boosting income. And you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits of marijuana yourself — so be patient for a few more weeks.
And when you can finally buy marijuana in Arizona, check back with us. You’ll find all the weed-related tips and tricks you need on our blog.