On election day, voters may help to legalize the purchase of recreational marijuana in Arizona – a big deal for marijuana pharmacies in Glendale and elsewhere.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, “California took in a record $208 million in excise, sales and cultivation taxes from the cannabis industry in the second quarter of 2020.”
Ten other states have legalized recreational marijuana. Sales of marijuana in Colorado, Michigan, Nevada and Oregon are also estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Arizona joins three others—Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota—with the question on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Four years after Arizona voters rejected legalizing recreational marijuana, the issue is back, appearing on November’s ballot as Proposition 207.
In addition to an excise tax, the proposition would tax recreational marijuana under the general sales tax.
The Marijuana Legalization Initiative, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, would legally allow people 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, although smoking it in public places and open spaces would be prohibited. Starting July 21, 2021, Arizona will allow up to six types of marijuana to be grown in its individual homes. Anyone who was arrested, charged or convicted of a minor cannabis related offence will be allowed to apply for the deletion of his criminal record. These include possession of 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana and possession of equipment for smoking marijuana.
All sales would face a 16% surtax, which would fund community colleges, public safety, public health programs and infrastructure.
Smart and Safe Arizona, the group promoting the proposition, raised $3.48 million. Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, the main opposition campaign, collected $142,065.
Campbell said the license regulations in the bill would increase the number of licenses available in tandem with population growth. In addition, a number of licenses would be set aside for underserved communities.
Arizona voters approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons in 2010, and the first dispensaries opened in 2012.
Recreational marijuana would be taxed at 16% in addition to state and local taxes of about 9%, which equals 25%, and the rate could increase with demand.