420 with CNW – Arizonans Spent More Than $500M on Medical Marijuana in 2019

February 3, 2020 04:20:52

Last year, Arizona residents spent more than half a billion dollars on medical marijuana, an increase from the previous year, which is an indication of marijuana prevalence within the state. This year voters will decide whether to legalize adult-use marijuana during the November elections.

According to a year-end report from the Department of Health Services in Arizona, as of December 2019, there were 220,000 registered medical marijuana patients in the state’s program. Last year, these patients bought approximately 83 tons of marijuana.

Compared to the number of tons purchased in 2018 (61 tonnes), there was a 36%  increase, and the number of patients increased by 18% over the course of one year.

The patients purchased most of the marijuana in dry flower form, which was equivalent to 75 tons. The patients also bought around 6,000 pounds of marijuana edibles and 9,226 pounds of other types of marijuana concentrates.

The state sold marijuana worth about $580 million, with each pound of marijuana was sold for an average cost of $3,500. Some of the retail marijuana outlets sell high-end cannabis, which goes for not less than $300 an ounce or approximately $5,000 per pound.

Although the price of weed was expected to drop as marijuana producers increased their efficiency, in 2018, a report commissioned by Arizona dispensaries estimated that the average retail price of marijuana stood at around $4,800 per pound.

Arizona is pushing for recreational marijuana legalization, and the latest quarterly campaign finance reports show nearly $446,000 in contributions from business from the month of October to December. Thirteen individuals also contributed approximately $1,700 towards the campaign efforts.

So far, the overall contributions were $1.6 million for the Smart and Safe Arizona Act. Since September, advocates and supporters of the measure have been collecting signatures to place the bill on the 2020 ballot.

According to the measure, people aged 21 and above would be allowed to possess an ounce of marijuana, while the issue of potency is left to the state to decide.

If the measure is voted for, the act will allow the sale of adult-use marijuana at the existing 130 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state as well as at an additional 26 licensed retail outlets which are aimed at ensuring social equity. The 26 retail outlet permits would be issued to individuals from communities that were adversely affected by prohibition.

The recreational marijuana legalization efforts in Arizona are financed by the existing medical marijuana dispensaries.

In the past quarter, Harvest Health and Recreational Inc. dispensary based in Tempe contributed $250,000. The dispensary is on the way to becoming the largest legal marijuana retailer in the U.S.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. also contributed $200,000 in October. However, the company recently sold its three medical marijuana dispensaries located in Arizona.

Analysts think that going by the sales figures for the medical marijuana market, cannabis companies like MCTC Holdings Inc. (OTC: MCTC) are certain that those glowing figures will pale in comparison to what the recreational market will generate once it is legalized.

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