Recreational pot: AZ decides to legalize, or not

Posted at 10:28 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 01:28:12-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — "About $300 million dollars annually, from the excised tax, on recreational sales."

That's how much Steve White said the state stands to receive from sales of recreational marijuana.

White supports the measure, he's also the CEO of 'harvest,' a company with 15 dispensaries across Arizona, one of them in Tucson.

He said as the proposition is written, the tax generated from sales would public programs and institutions.

"It goes to support community colleges, infrastructure and public safety."

White said it would also provide grants.

"Police training, treating of addictions, not specifically cannabis but to include opioid addiction, teachers association, among other things."

He employs 600 people in Arizona.

If voters approve the proposition he said demand could mean dispensary operators will have to hire more employees, operators like Moe Asnani.

Asnani runs 'The Downtown Dispensary,' it has two locations in Tucson.

"We started in August of 2013 with three employees, today we have over 130."

He said if it's legalized, recreational marijuana could double his workforce.

Asnani said nothing will change for anyone who can already buy marijuana in the state.

"If you're a medical marijuana patient nothing's going to change for you, you won't have to pay excised tax. You'll still be able to buy the same amount as before."

If passed, customers will only be able to up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of extracts, oils or edibles.

White said this proposition differs from 2016's failed measure in part because it gives employers more protections for regulating use in the workplace, places strict controls on impaired driving and could expunge the records of 200,000 Arizonans who have marijuana charges.

Asnani said for his business, legalization won't mean a marijuana free-for-all.

"With our stores, our policies are going to be that we're going to limit every customer to one transaction per day if Prop 207 passes."