Blaze On: Recreational Marijuana Is Officially Legal in Arizona

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

By Bree Burkitt

December 1, 2020

Here’s everything you need to know before celebrating.

With the certification of the election results Monday, recreational marijuana is officially legal in Arizona.

But don’t light up that joint just yet—there are still a few details you need to know first.

Restrictions on Quantities 

Under Prop 207, anyone 21 and older can legally possess up to one ounce (28 grams of marijuana or smaller quantities of concentrates, such as hashish. They can also grow up to six plants. The plants can’t be in public view and need to be kept in an enclosed and lockable area, such as a closet or greenhouse. 

Adults possessing more than the allotted amount will face a criminal petty offense punishable by a $300 fine. Anyone under the age of 21 found in possession of marijuana or concentrate will be hit with a fine of $100 for the first offense and a criminal petty offense for a second violation. Anything after that would be a criminal class-one misdemeanor. 

Previously, those convicted of possessing up to two pounds of marijuana faced one to two years in prison and a felony conviction that would trail them for the rest of their life.

No Retail Sales Until 2021

While recreational marijuana is now legal, retail sales likely won’t start until spring 2021. A medical marijuana card is still required to purchase from existing medical dispensaries until then. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services will start taking applications for dispensaries in January and recreational sales could start as early as March. Proposition 207 allows for one dispensary for every 10 pharmacies across the state. Currently, there are about 120 existing dispensaries statewide, leaving room for about 10 new licenses. 

Legal Restrictions 

Employers still have the power to drug test employees and enforce any rules forbidding them from using marijuana even though it is now legal. 

Additionally, it’s illegal to smoke marijuana in public places and open spaces. However, marijuana consumption through an edible or vape is allowed in public.

Using or consuming marijuana is illegal while driving, flying, or boating. Prop 207 technically prohibits driving while impaired to the “slightest degree.” However, it allows the state legislature to eventually set a threshold on the level of active metabolites allowed in the bloodstream, similar to a limit on blood-alcohol-content “when scientific research on the subject is conclusive and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends the adoption of such a law.” 


Prop 207 also allows for those convicted of certain marijuana-related crimes to have their convictions erased from the public record starting on July 21, 2021. County attorney’s throughout the state have also stated that all pending cases for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana will be dismissed.

Continue Reading: Progressive Policies Just Won Big in Arizona


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