Arizona reaches 1 year of legalized recreational marijuana
Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the first legal sale of recreational cannabis in Arizona, and the industry brought in millions of dollars in of revenue for the state.
Dmitri Downing is the founder of the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association. He says Arizona’s revenue totals match up with first-year sales for other states with legalized recreational cannabis.
“I believe that the level of sales is close to where we expected,” Downing said. “I think there’s individuals who would like them to be higher. Compared to other states, I think it goes on, it’s about consistent with what other states show.”
Downing says the next few years will be defined by the potential for federal legalization and how that will change state laws and affect interstate commerce.
“The big thing everyone is looking forward to is federal legalization and how interstate commerce is going to impact Arizona because all the state laws have to be changed, in regards to cannabis. There will be adjustments made as interstate commerce becomes a reality, sometime within the next one to five years,” said Downing.
Sales for recreational cannabis totaled more than $520 million last year, with the total tax collected nearing $45 million, to be dispersed among state programs like community colleges, transportation and fire and law enforcement.