Open a Dispensary in Arizona

Summary of Marijuana Laws

With the passage of Proposition 203 in 2010, Arizona voters authorized the creation of a nonprofit medical marijuana program. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has implemented this program, licensing the first dispensaries (authorized to cultivate medical marijuana as well as sell to patients) in 2012.


In 2016, Arizona accepted 750 additional applications and awarded 32 new licenses to operate dispensaries. That same year, voters narrowly rejected a ballot initiative seeking to legalize marijuana for adult use.


Arizona is not accepting license applications at this time.


Even without recreational marijuana sales, marijuana industry analysis firm New Frontier estimate Arizona’s medical marijuana market could be $680 million by 2020. In 2017, the state’s sales were conservatively estimated at $350 million, based on the ADHS annual report. The report shows more than 86,000 pounds of marijuana sold in 2017, nearly 50-percent higher than the previous year. With a patient population of over 170,000 in 2018, Arizona has a robust medical marijuana market.


The Arizona medical marijuana program is built around medical marijuana dispensaries, which are authorized to have a second premises at which medical marijuana is cultivated. All medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona must operate on a nonprofit basis.


Content updated July 7, 2018.