AZ rec referendum triggers rush for medical marijuana licenses

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Arizona’s ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana has triggered a deluge of applications for a limited number of state medical marijuana licenses that will be awarded in October.

Some 750 applications were submitted for the 31 available licenses, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the medical-marijuana program, reported.

The legalization measure qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot earlier this month.

Applicants have opted not to wait for the Nov. 8 vote but instead have rushed to get their paperwork in ahead of time. That’s because medical marijuana license holders would get first crack at the new rec licenses, reported.

The intense competition for licenses also has applicants scrambling for real estate. That’s partly because suitable locations – especially those able to serve the most patients possible – are among the criteria that regulators will consider when scoring applications.

Arizona officials have even hired a consultant to analyze where the state’s roughly 100,000 medical-marijuana users live in relation to current dispensary locations, patient-to-dispensary ratios, and other factors, according to

That information, however, is not available to the public.