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What marijuana/cannabis businesses can you start in Arizona?

The Arizona Department of Health Services has recently  awarded 31 new medical cannabis licenses.The new 31 dispensaries were selected from a pool of 750 applicants, all of which submitted bids for licenses between July 18-29. There are already 94 operating dispensaries in Arizona, along with another five that have received licenses but are not yet up and running. That brings the total of licensed MMJ dispensaries to 130.

The state's initiative to legalize recreational marijuana was not approved in the ballot last November 8. So every business will be solely on the medical side, requiring patients to be recommended by a physician for medical marijuana consumption.

Currently, you cannot apply for any marijuana business licenses.

What can I do right now?

To get ahead and be prepared for when the state will start licensing marijuana businesses, you should:

  • Grab our starter package to give you a detailed rundown of everything you need to know and do right now to get a jumpstart (hint: there's a lot to do).
  • Read through the regulations and determine what business type you'd like to have.
  • If you'll be seeking financing and investors or partners, you'll need a business plan to present to them. See our Medical Marijuana Business Plans for Arizona page for details and get a business plan to fit your needs.

How To Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Arizona

The state will allow potential business owners to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Arizona. Whether this is possible or not will hinge entirely on the city and/or county of choice, as the state allows the local municipalities to ban or place moratoriums on whether to license dispensaries for operation or not. 

Application fee for a dispensary is $5000. But the state also requires proof that the entity or a principal officer of the entity has $150,000 (one hundred fifty thousand dollars) in an in-state or out-of-state financial institution. The documentation must be dated within 30 days before the application and show that the entity or principal officer had control of the monies for at least 30 days before the application was submitted.

  1. Setup your Marijuana Business Corporate Structure.
  2. Create your Marijuana Retail Business Plan
  3. Determine your potential location(s) and investigate whether licensing is possible in the prospective cities or counties.
  4. Acquire the necessary licenses to operate your retail store and be completely legal and compliant.
  5. Install the operational infrastructure to be in accordance with all regulations and then open your doors for business.
  6. Contract with cultivators and/or edible/extraction/infused products manufacturers to grow and produce marijuana products for you, if you don't want to do it yourself.

How To Grow/Cultivate Marijuana Legally in Arizona

The situation is nearly identical to that of dispensaries. The city and county would need to allow you to be licensed before you can be allowed to cultivate for medical purposes. However, you would be required to own/operate a dispensary in order to cultivate medical cannabis but the steps will be similar.

    How To Start a Marijuana Edibles, Marijuana Infused Products or Marijuana Extractions Business In Arizona

    These types of business are allowed but just like cultivation you will be required to own/operate a dispensary in order to sell marijuna extracts/concentrates, marijuana edibles and infused products. The steps are similar to all the other businesses.

      The latest marijuana industry news, laws, & frequently asked questions for Arizona.