The sale of recreational marijuana is open for business in Graham County, with an additional business receiving its license and two licenses awarded to businesses for Greenlee County.
By Jon Johnson
PHOENIX – Three businesses hit the jackpot in the state’s retail recreational cannabis license lottery Monday and were awarded licenses to sell cannabis recreationally in Safford and Clifton.
The three businesses must adhere to all local ordinances.
Safford currently has one recreational dispensary already open for business, which is the Natural Remedy Patient Center at 1450 W. Thatcher Blvd. As the county’s only medical marijuana dispensary, it was initially allowed to apply for recreational sales and, after receiving its license, was approved to do so by the Safford City Council in March. The dispensary then began recreational sales near the end of that month, according to manager Audry Goss, who said sales have increased since opening to recreational business.
On Monday, Piper’s Shop LLC was awarded a retail license for Safford. According to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), the business first filed to become an LLC on Jan. 11, 2021, and its statutory agent resides in Mesa.
On Monday, 101010 Management LLC was awarded a retail license for Clifton. According to the ACC, the business first filed to become an LLC on Feb. 4, 2021, and its statutory agent resides in Scottsdale. It also lists two member/managers, one with a Michigan address and one with a local Clifton address. The business itself has an address on Chase Creek.
Sonoran Flower LLC was also awarded a retail license for Clifton. According to the ACC, the business first filed to become an LLC on June 5, 2018, and its statutory agent resides in Tucson.
Voters approved Proposition 207 in 2020 by roughly a 60 to 40 percent vote. Locally, Graham County voted against it while Greenlee County voted in favor.
The proposition legalized the possession and use of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults (21 and older) who will be permitted to grow no more than six plants in their residences, as long as the plants are within a lockable enclosed area and beyond public view. Adults caught with more than an ounce but less than 2.5 ounces are subject to a fine of up to $300.
The proposition also placed a 16% tax on marijuana sales in addition to the existing transaction privilege tax and use tax. Revenue from the new tax will is divided between community college districts; municipal police, sheriff, and fire departments; fire districts; the state’s Highway User Revenue Fund, and a new Justice Reinvestment Fund. Recreational sales began earlier this year and there are more than 100 currently operating recreational dispensaries throughout the state.
License applications to sell cannabis, cultivation facilities, and production facilities are under the purview of the Arizona Department of Health Services, which first had to accept license applications from existing nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries. There are roughly 120 medical marijuana dispensaries currently in operation throughout the state. The proposition also establishes “social equity” licenses for communities that have been historically disenfranchised by marijuana laws. The determination of who is eligible to apply for those licenses is also under the purview of the ADHS.
On Monday, the ADHS picked 13 applicants at random for rural recreational retail licenses utilizing a bingo machine to randomly select numbers that were given to the applicants.