Arizona adult-use marijuana initiative clears final legal hurdle

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The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a voter initiative that would legalize a commercial recreational marijuana program in the state will appear on the November ballot, removing the final legal challenge.

In a last-ditch effort to keep the issue off the ballot, opponents had argued that the initiative summary had failed to outline a host of changes that would be made to state law, including that a proposed 16% excise tax on marijuana sales could not be raised.

Superior Court Judge James Smith rejected the arguments earlier this month.

In his ruling, the judge wrote that the principal provisions of the Smart and Safe Arizona Act were included in the summary while noting the lawyers for legalization foes took 25 pages to describe provisions they said should have been included.

The state Supreme Court upheld that ruling Thursday.

The rec marijuana initiative:

  • Calls for a licensing structure that favors existing medical cannabis operators.
  • Allocates 26 social equity licenses to owners from communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily