Arizona announced it will accept applications from July 18-29 for its new round of licensing for medical cannabis dispensaries, a move that will increase the number of dispensaries in the state by roughly 30%.
The Arizona Department of Health Services will dole out a total of 31 new dispensary licenses, according to its website.
The 31 additional licenses will bring the total number of dispensaries to 130. Arizona currently has 99 licensed dispensaries. Of those currently licensed, 93 are open and serving patients.
The allocation process will be a hybrid of a lottery and merit-based system. But the department will begin by awarding licenses on a geographic basis. At the top of the list: counties currently without a dispensary.
After that, the department will allocate licenses according to patient density in specific regions called Community Health Analysis Areas. Those areas with most MMJ patients will receive more dispensaries.
Applicants seeking a dispensary license must secure a location for their storefront before turning in their application. That provision makes this licensing round a bit of a gamble for entrepreneurs looking for a license.