Arizona towns ban recrecreational weed

Why Did Some Arizona Cities and Towns Ban Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries?

It has been a long battle to get recreational cannabis approved in Arizona

Posted by:
HighChi on Thursday Apr 15, 2021

Why Did Some Arizona Cities Ban Recreational Marijuana Establishments?

Arizona cities ban recreational marijuana

The world is gradually waking up to the truth about marijuana: it is a SUPER SUBSTANCE with immense health benefits and several regions of the world are legalizing it for use by their citizens. So why did Arizona cities ban recreational marijuana establishments? Let's find out! 

 

The background to the ban 

The people in Arizona knew that the concept of zoning would affect dispensary owners. So the news about the ban by some Arizona cities on establishments that deal with recreational marijuana was unexpected. 

 

In October 2020, just less than a month before voters in Arizona approved legal marijuana through Proposition 207(called "the Act), other Arizona cities started to ban recreational marijuana sales. 

 

The cities also stated that the only way a dispensary will be allowed to sell marijuana is to have a "dual license." A dual license represents the establishment of both a medical marijuana center and an adult (recreational marijuana) center. 

 

Previously, the Act allowed dispensary owners to get both licenses (the medical and recreational) which meant they could sell both products from the same center. Now you will agree that the Act was a good one. After all, it empowered the dispensaries with both licenses to sell both products.

 

But cities like Meca, Scottsdale, Goodyear, Surprise, and other Arizona cities started to frustrate the Act. Yes, they have the legal standing to do so, but cannabis experts refer to it as a wrong move. Why did these cities take such a step? Why is there so much focus on recreational marijuana which led to the ban of several recreational cannabis establishments? 

 

Why Arizona cities banned marijuana establishments 

Several theories explain the reasons for the ban, with the major one being that the towns do not want new recreational marijuana businesses set up. Those supporting the ban reiterate that those affected dispensaries should get the dual licenses that will allow them to operate on a recreational scale fully. 

 

Recreational facilities were not the only affected centers in Arizona. Some cities also banned marijuana testing facilities. For example, through Ordinance Number 5601, the city of Mesa prohibited a marijuana testing facility from functioning fully. This move made it incredibly difficult for final marijuana products to be tested before offered for sale in Arizona. 

 

Mesa also banned the possession and consumption of marijuana on its "official city property." These bans and new ordinances from Arizona state already harm the Social Equity Opportunity program in Arizona; in fact while it stands it'll seriously limit Arizona's potential for rapid growth and development.

 

Reaction to the ban in Arizona 

Cannabis advocates do not like the idea of a ban because it restricts their access to the plant and its other products. The advocates argue that cities and towns in Arizona will lose out on the tax revenues that will be gotten from marijuana sales. 

 

The experts also argue that the ban wouldn't prevent the sales of cannabis in towns because medical dispensaries will still sell to adults. Some even accuse medical marijuana dispensaries of lobbying and influencing elected officials to approve the bans, so competition is limited. 

 

The officials involved in the ban also seem to show a lack of understanding of the marijuana economics of scale because if they do, they won't come up with these bans that affect the growth of a burgeoning marijuana economy in Arizona. 

 

Reactions to the ban were primarily adverse, which is understandable because marijuana has come a long way in Arizona.  Cities in Arizona should not sabotage their growth by instituting partial restrictions. 

The negative consequences and ripple effect of the recreational marijuana ban in Arizona could be hugely detrimental. It could lead to the following:

 

Creating a marijuana medical monopoly

There will be a monopoly on medical marijuana in Arizona cities with this ban which isn't a good thing. This realization means only the medical sector will have access to cannabis, leaving out many people who may need marijuana for other purposes. A ban on recreational marijuana monopolizes the medical industry, which is not ideal for a state that should have a thriving marijuana economy. 

 

Citizens getting marijuana from other states.

If the people in Arizona cities cannot quickly get marijuana from the recreational dispensaries, they will go to other states for it. Going to other states means they might also choose to get medical marijuana from such states, which means other states will gain the financial benefits Arizona should be getting. 

 

Rise of the marijuana black market

Curtailing the rise of the marijuana black market is one of the reasons why states started to legalize marijuana. But with Arizona cities banning recreational establishments, there might be a rise in cannabis demand from the black market. With this, there will be a higher possibility of cannabis abuse in Arizona cities. 

 

A lack of tax returns from marijuana sales 

Due to the ever-increasing acceptance of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, governments are deriving lots of taxes from that sector. By cutting off some recreational dispensaries, Arizona cities miss out on the immense potentials this taxes offer them. 

 

We are in the era of the marijuana economy boom, but cities in Arizona will only be getting 50% of such potential through medical dispensaries. Their bans on recreational marijuana deprive them of the other 50%.

 

Bottom Line 

 

Marijuana continues to grow in leaps and bounds, and in 2021, many cities, and countries are beginning to maximize its value by setting up rules that promote its usage. But as we all move towards benefiting from a blooming "marijuana economy," Arizona seems to be headed backward, which would make it difficult for them to enjoy the cannabis boom. 

 

Some people may argue that the ban is not so terrible because it is only on recreational marijuana, but that is not true. From the negative impact and consequences discussed above, it is evident that any ban on marijuana doesn't reflect well on Arizona. 

 

So will the Arizona cities reverse the ban? The answer is currently unclear, but if the cities are keen on getting the massive tax revenues from recreational cannabis, they would have to reverse the ban.

 

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