During the global pandemic, cannabis sales have been record-breaking in the United States. With more states legalizing weed medically and recreationally, those sales are projected to grow significantly within the next decade.
Arizona, in particular, had a very successful year with medical and adult-use marijuana sales. If you were to visit a recreational dispensary in the state, it might even feel like pot use has been legal for years. While that’s not the case, it seems that recreational use is here to stay and will be giving medical marijuana a run for its money in the coming years.
Medical marijuana was legalized in Arizona in 2010 thanks to voter-supported Proposition 203. This law made it legal to obtain a medical marijuana purchase for specific conditions: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, PTSD, Chron’s Disease, Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, and more. It also protected citizens from civil discrimination that may come with having a medical marijuana card. Lawmakers finalized the new law on May 28, 2011.
Recreational cannabis use was legalized in Arizona during the November 2020 elections by overwhelming voter support. Proposition 207 was passed, and adult-use marijuana went on sale on January 22, 2021. Since then, sales have skyrocketed.
Medical Sales in 2021
Collectively, the state of Arizona made over a billion dollars in marijuana sales, both medical and recreational, in the first eleven months of 2021. Of that number, medical sales led from February to October, but recreational sales quickly caught up in November. For the full year of 2021, over 700 million of those dollars came directly from medical marijuana purchases. The most money earned in one month last year for medicinal weed was 73 million in March and April.
Recreational Sales in 2021
Adult-use marijuana sales peaked in November 2021, earning close to 60 million that one month. After January 22, 2021, recreational cannabis made over 500 million dollars 2021. These numbers reflect upcoming predictions on cannabis sales trends for 2022 and beyond. From the looks of it, recreational marijuana could completely catch up or pass medical sales this year.
Arizona Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, is a cannabis legalization initiative passed with approximately sixty percent of voter support during the November 2020 election period. This law was passed to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older and use the taxes raised from sales in specific ways that benefit the state, and the communities affected the most by marijuana criminalization.
“We had overwhelming support in November—a three to two margin. We got over the finish line,” said Samuel Richard, executive director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association. “It’s great to see that our regulators responded to that overwhelming support by working as fast as they can to get the infrastructure in place to allow the two million Arizonans that voted ‘yes’ for Prop 207 to start to enjoy the benefits of legal, adult-use cannabis.”
Cannabis sales contributed to a substantial amount of taxes collected in Arizona in 2021. In November alone, medical and recreational marijuana users paid over twenty million in taxes and almost 600 million in excise taxes for the entire year. These numbers are federal taxes only and don’t include state tax and the extra two percent for local jurisdictions.
Due to the stipulations in Proposition 207, these taxes can only be used for specific purposes:
- One-third of excise taxes go directly to community college funding.
- Thirty-one percent of excise tax funds go to public safety- firefighters, police officers, first responders, etc.
- Twenty-five percent goes to the Arizona Highway User Revenue Fund.
- Ten percent is dedicated to justice reinvestment for communities directly impacted by marijuana arrests and criminalization.
As legalization becomes more predominant in the United States, we have begun to see the revenue potential of the cannabis industry. Current and projected trends show that by 2030, the American marijuana industry will grow by 100 billion dollars. As more states begin their own legalization initiative programs, we’ll be sure to see those numbers increase even more. Visit Leafy Mate to check for the latest updates on cannabis sales and industry-related information.