Arizonans approved Proposition 207 which will dramatically reform marijuana possession laws including allowing for the retail sale of up to 1 ounce of marijuana in authorized stores to folks over 21 years old. The law will take effect when the election is certified later this month.

There are many provisions in the new law. Here are a few highlights:

  • Adults 21 and older would be able to possess 1 ounce of marijuana with no more than 5 grams of it being marijuana concentrates (extracts).

  • Possessing more than 1 ounce but less than 2.5 ounces would be a petty offense. Minors caught with less than 1 ounce would receive up to a $100 fine and 4 hours of drug counseling for a first offense. A second offense would be up to a $100 fine and 8 hours of drug counseling. A third offense would be a class 1 misdemeanor.

  • Beginning July 12, 2021, people convicted previously of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana or six or fewer plants or paraphernalia can petition to have the record expunged.

  • Allows home cultivation of marijuana but limits it to 12 plants at a residence where two or more individuals who are at least 21 years old reside at one time.

  • The ADHS will need to establish recreational marijuana regulations before April 5, 2021, and existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to add a retail line of business when their licenses are approved in the spring of 2021. Medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to sell recreational marijuana to adults as a bridge until the ADHS issues licenses for recreational dispensaries).

  • A 16% excise tax (the same as cigarettes and alcohol) will be placed on recreational marijuana products. Money from the excise tax would fund various state agencies and be dispersed between community college districts, police and fire departments, and the Highway User fund. Medical marijuana will not be subject to this tax.

  • Marijuana use would remain illegal in public places (restaurants, parks, sidewalks, etc.). Smoking in a public place would be a petty offense.

  • No marijuana products could be sold that imitate brands marketed to children or look like humans, animals, insects, fruits, toys, or cartoons.

  • Marijuana edibles will be limited to a maximum of 10mg of THC per edible and limited to a maximum of 100mg of THC per package of edibles. This does not apply to medical marijuana.

  • Employers have the right to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace.

  • Driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal.

There are currently tens of millions of excess dollars in the Arizona Medical Marijuana in large part because I set the medical marijuana card fees way too high. Once certified, the law requires the transfer of $10M from the existing fund to the ADHS to fund programs for teen suicide prevention, maternal mortality review, poison control centers and programs to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences. I imagine that the ADHS will be reaching out to stakeholders as they prepare to deploy those funds.

Prop 207 also releases $4M from the MM fund for grants to organizations to help people file for expungement of previous convictions of qualifying possession of marijuana charges.