5 Need-to-KnowFacts About the Cannabis Industry in Arizona
By Brittany Artwohl
Cannabis s a booming business in Arizona and with more companies popping up every day, the industry continues to grow. In 2014, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported that over 10 tons of cannabis was sold through local dispensaries. The gross revenue was an approximate $110 million!
Today, patients who cultivate their own plants are no longer able to do so within 25 miles of a dispensary. With over 80 dispensaries in Arizona, the cannabis business is good. These business owners need to know more than a few facts about marijuana in Arizona. Here are just five.
- We are still fighting for legalization. Although marijuana has been legal for medicinal use since 2011, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is still underway. A recent survey of 500 Arizona voters revealed that 49% of voters would reject legalization for recreational use, 43% would vote “yes” and around 8% of voters are undecided, according to the Arizona Republic. Currently, plenty of people are still trying to get petition signatures and many people have high hopes for the legalization effort.
- Our growers are educated. The Arizona Department of Health Services allows qualifying patients to cultivate their own medicine. For this reason, many people have acquired somewhat of a green thumb, which doesn’t mean that most people can easily maintain more than six plants. That’s where professionals come in. Colleges across Arizona are offering classes and even full degree programs that cater to the industrial cultivation of marijuana as a specialized science. The budding industry has help develop lucrative jobs in research, biology, chemistry, law, horticulture and medical treatment. Now, that’s higher education.
- There is a sense of community. When medical marijuana collectives first opened in Arizona, everyone had something different to bring to the table. Menus were loaded with distinctive choices: homemade baklava, cookies, candy…. People were making salad dressings, peanut butter—you name it. The people who were in those collectives are still creating concoctions and sharing them with the rest of us cardholders. Even with dispensaries, the friendships remain and innovators are still happily incorporating cannabis into healthy lifestyles—and that’s a great thing.
- Cannabis is a substitute for many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.. You may already have heard that marijuana is safer than pharmaceutical drugs. What you may not know is that some OTC drugs contain acetaminophen. The problem with that is that a staggering number of people accidently overdose every year. This added up to over 1,500 deaths in the United States between 2001 and 2010. Acetaminophen overdoses are responsible for 80,000 emergency room visits every year and are the leading cause of acute liver failure, according to the National Institutes for Health. These shocking statistics pave the way for a not-so-hostile marijuana takeover.
- We aren’t potheads. Between 2013 and 2014, an estimated 52,374 active cardholders were in Arizona. These patients are NOT just sitting around getting high. Patients at clinics discuss sophisticated topics, including laboratory data for CBD content, THC percentages, flavor profiles and sales. Arizona dispensaries provide high-quality medicine to patients, who share in this new experience and collectively realize that marijuana is effective for treating many different health problems. There are millions of ways to use marijuana, and many of them don’t include a high at all. (Consider topical products and CBD oil.)