Recently, the residents of Arizona have gotten some really uplifting news; cannabis will now be legalized for adult recreational use for anyone over the age of 21. This is something that has been happening in various states, and I am very excited to see that Arizona actually made the list. Many states in the U.S. are not only legalizing medical marijuana, but are now also legalizing marijuana for people who just want to use it for fun and for medical purposes without actually obtaining a medical marijuana card.
However, all of these new events beg the question; is it still worth it to apply for a medical marijuana card if you are legally allowed to use cannabis without it? Well, I am here to tell you that it is. As of right now, existing medical cannabis dispensaries will be the first places to start selling to adults over the age of 21, and I am sure that there is a lineup of businesses who are waiting to set up shop in Arizona and start selling cannabis as soon as possible.
However, I believe that there is still some merit to getting your medical marijuana card even if you live in Arizona. One reason is because the selling of recreational marijuana will not be available for quite some time, so if you are planning on buying your recreational marijuana then you may have to wait. However, it could be worth your time to apply for a medical marijuana card while you wait! If you do have a medical card, you won’t have to wait until other dispensaries open up and can just buy from your local medical dispensaries that have already been established and approved.
It is also worth mentioning that Arizona will be levying a hefty tax on recreational marijuana purchases made in the state, at an astonishing rate of 16% of excise tax and 5.6% for a state tax, meaning that the total sale tax for your cannabis is going to be 21.6%. That is quite a bit of taxing and can definitely add up quickly. In other states who have done similar things with legalizing recreational marijuana, we have seen that they usually do not tax the medical cannabis programs as heavily (or at all) like they do to the recreational side of the industry.
This makes sense when you think about it, since it seems pretty unfair to tax someone for prescription medication or for medical treatment. Medical marijuana is not much different than such things.
However, the government has no problem putting lots of taxes on recreational marijuana and making up the difference. While it is annoying, there is no doubt that the tax revenue opportunities are part of what makes legalizing marijuana so attractive to states like Arizona who may be hurting for cash in their yearly budgets. Interestingly, residents in Arizona that are permitted to buy recreational or medical marijuana will also be permitted to grow it in their own homes! I’m all for having indoor plants in my house, but growing weed is a whole new level of fun.
The reason that Arizona is allowing this is because, while there are about 7.5 million residents in the state, there are only 120 medical cannabis dispensaries that are registered. As one can imagine, there is a bit of a supply and demand problem within the marijuana industry there. Either way, I highly recommend that you take the time to get your medical marijuana card because it could serve you well later down the road.