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Arizona Cannabis Generates Over $1B of Revenue in 2021

Arizona’s official cannabis business is worth a quarter of a trillion dollars.

Grand Canyon State voters voted in 2020 to legalize recreational cannabis for all adults over 21. The state has legalized medical marijuana since 2010.

This made 2021 the year that both the markets were open and was a success for Arizona.

The state Department of Revenue released figures that show recreational and medical cannabis combined generated more than $1.23 trillion in revenue last year.

“Rarely does an industry produce over $1.2 billion in revenue in its first year. This number shows that the legalization of cannabis is something Arizonans believe strongly in and the many benefits it contributes to the state’s economy,” said Samuel Richard, the Executive Director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association (ADA), as quoted by

A detailed breakdown of data was provided by the Department of Revenue. It revealed that revenue for recreational cannabis use came to $528.001,278 and medical cannabis brought in $703 803,194.

These figures indicate that November was the month with the highest revenue for recreational pot, at $60,299 and 191, respectively. This was the only month in which the total recreational pot sales exceeded $60 million. 

April saw $72,944,477 of medical cannabis sales. The December sales numbers were not available.

Additionally, $196,447.570 was collected in taxes by the state on all combined sales for last year. This does not take into account December sales. 

According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, “there is a transaction privilege tax (TPT) rate and an excise tax (16 percent) on the retail sales” of adult use recreational cannabis in the state.

Proposition 207, a ballot measure that legalized recreational cannabis use in Arizona, was approved by 60% of Arizona voters in 2020. Arizona joined Montana, South Dakota, New Jersey and other states to approve legalization measures via the ballot in 2020. 

In August, Arizona launched a social equity program for aspiring cannabis dispensary owners as part of Prop 207’s commitment to “promote the ownership and operation of marijuana establishments and marijuana testing facilities by individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.”

Through the program, the state’s Department of Health Services will award 26 dispensary licenses to applicants who come from communities most adversely affected by anti-drug policies.

“The social equity ownership program is intended to promote the ownership and operation of licensed Marijuana Establishments by individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws,” the Department of Health Services explained. “Social equity license holders will be required to comply with all statutes and rules that govern Adult-Use Marijuana Establishment licenses, including obtaining approval to operate before opening their retail location. Additionally, social equity license holders will be required to develop and implement policies to document how the Marijuana Establishment will provide a benefit to one or more communities disproportionately affected by the enforcement of Arizona’s previous marijuana laws.”

However, the effort was also under scrutiny after a group female investors filed a lawsuit against the program in November. Plaintiffs are Acre 41 and the Greater Phoenix Urban League. They claim that program rules do not align with Prop 207’s goals.

The state of Arizona and Republican Governor are defendants in this suit. Doug Ducey is the head of Arizona’s Department of Health Services, while Don Herrington serves as the Director of Department of Health Services.