More than a decade ago, the seeds of a new industry were planted in the Grand Canyon State. Voters approved Proposition 203, which created Arizona’s medical marijuana program. The law allowed patients with qualifying conditions to purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. To address demand for medical cannabis, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) was given regulatory powers over the nascent sector. In the years since, a robust cannabis industry has grown in Arizona within the bounds of Prop 203.
In 2020, the state’s voters returned to the ballot box to pass Proposition 207, which fully legalized recreational cannabis consumption for adults ages 21 and older. Medical dispensaries were able to apply for dual licensure, which meant they could begin selling cannabis that met Prop 207’s requirements to recreational users. The difference between the two types of users lies in the approved levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical that produces an intoxicated state when smoked, vaporized or ingested. Patients in the medical program are allowed to possess larger quantities of cannabis and can purchase edibles with higher concentrations of THC.
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