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The Do's and Don'ts of Arizona Marijuana: Laws & Standards for Businesses

The Do's and Don'ts of Arizona Marijuana: Laws & Standards for Businesses

Posted by Custom Cones USA on Sep 8th 2022

Arizona Cannabis Compliance Regulations and Laws for Businesses

Recreational cannabis was finally legalized by Arizona voters in 2020, with dispensaries able to sell cannabis products across the state in 2021. While the surrounding states such as Colorado and New Mexico beat them to it, Arizona is now the thirteenth state to have legalized marijuana!

Before celebrating this move, however, it’s important to understand what legalization will look like in the state of Arizona.

If you’re considering jumping into the emerging Arizona cannabis industry, make sure to check out the regulations and laws below which you will need to implement in your Arizona cannabis business. While many of the laws are similar to other states in the region, Arizona has some specific nuances in its legal code that separate it from its neighbors.

The Legalization Process In Arizona

In the late 90s and early 00s, Arizona voters were given two chances to legalize medical marijuana. Proposition 200 managed to pass in 1996 with 65% approval, but due to conflicts caused by its specific wording, the measure was largely ineffective. 

Later in 2002, another proposition pushing for medical marijuana legalization failed with 42.7% of the vote.

Medical marijuana was finally legalized by Proposition 203 in 2010 by the narrowest margin of 50.1% in favor. It’s no wonder it took ten more years for recreational marijuana to be legalized, even as the surrounding states began doing so in 2012 and 2016.

Proposition 207 passed in 2020 with 60% of the vote and cleared the way for recreational cannabis consumption and sale in the state the following year.

 

Arizona Cannabis Laws

Who can legally sell cannabis in Arizona?

Anyone above the age of 21 with a clean criminal record can apply for a dispensary license which will allow them to operate a dispensary within the state. The license fee for a new establishment is set at $5,000 and the renewal fee is $1,000.

A single person can apply for a maximum of five recreational dispensary licenses at a time and only one per county. If there are no medical dispensaries within a county, however, one person can possess two recreational licenses. 

 

What cannabis products can you sell in a dispensary in Arizona?

With restrictions, a variety of marijuana products are legal for recreational sale in dispensaries in Arizona. These include cannabis flower, resin, extracts, seedlings, immature plants, and cannabis paraphernalia such as pipes, bowls, and filter tips.

What cannabis licenses are available in Arizona?

There are only a few types of licenses available for businesses in Arizona which makes applying straightforward and simple.

Arizona offers a Marijuana Establishment License, which allows for the operation of a single retail location for recreational sale, single off-site cultivation facility for growing, processing, and manufacturing, and also a single off-site location for manufacturing.

Dual licenses are also available which allow for the sale of both medical and recreational cannabis within a single dispensary. All people who work at dispensaries or other cannabis facilities are required to obtain a Marijuana Facility Agent license.

What are the packaging requirements for cannabis in Arizona?

Any cannabis products sold at a dispensary in Arizona must follow certain rules to stay within compliance standards: 

           - You cannot package or label cannabis products in a false or misleading manner
           - You cannot sell products that resemble a human, animal, insect, fruit, or cartoon.
           - You cannot sell or advertise marijuana products that         resemble or imitate food or drink brands marketed to children.

Cannabis products also must be clearly labeled with health warnings and be sold in child-resistant packaging in the state of Arizona.

 

Arizona law also requires that cannabis products leaving the dispensary are placed in opaque packaging. Business owners may achieve this with a variety of opaque and child-resistant compliant packaging products that Custom Cones USA offers and meet the requirements of Arizona’s packaging laws. There are also workaround add-on options that could be used to pair with non-compliant packaging, such as Mylar bags that are closed upon point of purchase.


For more on child-resistant packaging, check out our Child Resistant Pre-roll Packaging deep dive!

For some excellent packaging options to be used in Arizona, check out our opaque glass pre-roll tubes (available in black, white, silver, and gold) or our opaque Super Seal tubes (available in black and white). Or if you’re looking for a budget-friendly classic, we’ve got a variety of opaque-colored options for pop-top doob tubes!


For pre-roll multi-packs, we have several compliant options to choose from that will be compliant in the Grand Canyon State– our pre-roll tins, snap packs, and flip packs are all certified child-resistant and opaque.


And don’t forget about Custom Cones USA’s custom packaging options like custom labels and our label application service! Custom shrink sleeves are another easy-to-use option that provides a clean and polished look to your product.

What are the rules for operating a dispensary in Arizona?

All dispensaries in the state of Arizona must be open and able to sell cannabis products to customers a minimum of 30 hours per week. Dispensaries selling medical marijuana are also required to provide educational materials for qualifying patients or designated caregivers for the assessment of the therapeutic use of marijuana for the patient’s medical condition.

Arizona also prohibits dispensaries from being within 500 feet of existing public or private schools. Other zoning restrictions may apply to certain localities in the state.

Is there a tax on cannabis in Arizona?

Yes! There is an excise tax of 16% on all recreational cannabis products, but state and local taxes also apply which brings the total tax to around 24%. This has brought in nearly $310M in revenue for the state this year already.

Medical marijuana purchases are only subject to state and local taxes.

 

Unique Cannabis Rules and Laws in Arizona

Delivery for Medical Marijuana Patients

While the delivery of recreational cannabis is not legal within the state of Arizona, there is an option for medical marijuana patients to have their products delivered. The Arizona Department of Health Services will be able to change the rules on recreational delivery after Jan 1st, 2023.


Depending on the outcome of the future rule changes surrounding recreational delivery, it could provide an opportunity for more expansion and profit for dispensaries and within the state.

Out-Of-State Reciprocity

Medical marijuana patients arriving in Arizona are also privileged in that they can use their out-of-state medical card at any medical dispensary within the state.


However, this reciprocity does not extend to recreational use. Adults above the age limit visiting Arizona will not be able to use their IDs to purchase cannabis within the state, even if cannabis is also legal in the state it was issued.

Weed Brands To Watch In Arizona

Baked Bros

Sunday Goods

Baked Bros was founded in 2015 by two guys who gave the brand its namesake. The weed enthusiasts turned entrepreneurs carry a boutique offering of cannabis products in the form of gummies and liquid edibles, and are making a name for themselves in Arizona as well as beyond state lines. https://bakedbros.com/products/

Sunday Goods Jar

Sunday Goods started its cannabis ventures with a grow site in Wilcox, AZ known as “The Pharm” before expanding across multiple states. Sunday Goods' secret is in the altitude of its grow site for the cannabis sold for flower as well as used in its pre-roll and other products: A 320,000 ft. Dutch greenhouse. https://sundaygoods.com/

Copperstate Farms

Copperstate Farms Logo

Copperstate Farms staked its claim in 2016 as a powerhouse in the cannabis sector, starting with its establishment of a greenhouse in Snowflake, AZ. Some of Copperstate’s top strains include Sol Flower, Good Things Coming, and Jukebox, which will likely continue to dominate the Arizona market. https://www.copperstatefarms.com/

Jeeter

Jeeter Arizona Billboard

Since April Fools of this year, you can find Jeeter pre-roll products in the Grand Canyon state! Baby Jeeter, Jeeter 1g, and Jeeter XL infused pre-rolls can be found for sale in dispensaries across the state. Originating in California, Arizona is the second state that Jeeter expanded into!

Arizona Cannabis Compliance in Review

While other states may have gotten into the recreational cannabis industry earlier, Arizona is still a major market for both medical and recreational marijuana. Some states, like Alaska, have opted to merge the two systems. Arizona continues to offer and see growth in both.

One encouraging aspect for those looking to dip their toes in this double market is the low barrier to entry for new applicants. Other states have stricter residency rules regarding who can open dispensaries, but as long as you meet the requirements and follow the rules surrounding operations your home state doesn’t matter!


Knowing all of that, business leaders should not feel intimidated about leaping into the Arizona cannabis market with the help of the Pre-Roll Experts at Custom Cones USA on their side. We are ready to provide friendly assistance to help keep your cannabis business compliant in Arizona and anywhere your business grows.