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Arizona Begins Recreational Sales In Record Time

January 26, 2021

Arizona began recreational cannabis sales last weekend after voters approved the issue in November. Multi-state operator Harvest Health and Recreation, which has 15 dispensaries and multiple production facilities in Arizona, logged the state’s first sale on Friday. The three-month turnaround is the fastest any state has gotten its market off the ground.

The quick action is a result of Arizona’s developed medical marijuana program and the presence of major U.S. cannabis companies, like Harvest Health and Curaleaf, which has eight locations statewide. The state gave many existing medical establishments the go-ahead to begin serving recreational patrons Friday when it licensed 86 locations to serve the general public. The majority of operational outlets are in Maricopa County, which contains Phoenix and its suburbs.

The newly licensed retailers have seen an influx of new customers, with some locations seeing lines that took more than an hour to move through, according to local reports. Curaleaf had served nearly 3,000 new customers by closing time on Saturday and plans to add around 150 people to its staff across its eight storefronts. Arizona’s recreational market is expected to be worth approximately $400 million this year, potentially growing to $750 million by 2024, according to one estimate.—Danny Sullivan

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