Earlier this month, Arizona voters approved Proposition 207, which legalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.
The measure also allows those previously convicted of marijuana crimes to have their records expunged by the courts.
We learned more about what passage of Prop-207 means from Ryan Hurley, Lead Counsel for Copperstate Farms.
Hurley believes the Prop-207 will not change Arizona on a functional level all that much, since many people used the drug illegally or medically beforehand.
“There’s a lot of people that have been using marijuana on a medical or a recreational basis, the big difference now is they’re not going to be locked in a cage for making that responsible choice,” Hurley said. “It’s a big day in Arizona to move that forward.”
Proposition 207 states that you can possess one ounce of marijuana. Five grams of that ounce can be concentrates. Additionally, one adult can grow up to six marijuana plants and one household can grow up to 12 marijuana plants. The marijuana from those plants can be possessed inside the home only.
Once dispensaries receive their recreational marijuana licenses, medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to allow purchases of marijuana for medical or recreational uses. Hurley estimates this will take about six months for the Arizona Department of Health Services to process those requests.
Hurley said many states, like Maine and California, had problems with allowing possession of marijuana but not allowing the purchase of marijuana for many years afterward. Hurley believes using dispensaries will help fix that problem.
“We wanted to avoid the problems that other states were having with rollouts,” Hurley said. “So we had the infrastructure here today, the dispensaries are there, they’re successfully serving patients as is, and so it made the most sense to flip the light switch and allow recreational patients to go into those.”
In the interim, Hurley reminds people that they must use a medical card to purchase marijuana until the Arizona Department of Health processes the requests.