Policy Recommendations Arizona

2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations for Arizona

Little has changed regarding policy improvements to the state's program in the past year. Arizona's legislative agenda was upended by the need to focus on coronavirus emergency measures, and no cannabis legislation cleared the legislature this year. However language was included in state emergency coronavirus legislation that declared medical cannabis dispensaries essential businesses, authorized delivery from legal storefronts as well as curbside pickup at these locations. Unlike some state partners, Arizona did not authorize patients to utilize telemedicine to determine eligibility or acquire a recommendation. In November of this year, improved medical cannabis testing standards authorized under SB 1494 in 2019 will go into effect, as well reduced patient fees.

While lawmakers may need to dedicate some of their time in 2021 on legislative cleanup related to the 2020 passage of adult-use initiative, ASA recommends that state elected leaders also revisit and repair many of the flaws existing in the state's medical program. Specifically ASA encourages consideration of legislation to improve product testing and labeling, as well as focusing on efforts to reduce the cost of medical cannabis and cannabis products to patients.

In the November elections, cannabis was legalized for all adults over 21 through a ballot initiative.