Skip to main content



Establishing a dispensary in Arizona can be costly. The state imposes a non-refundable application fee of $25,000 per location for a dispensary license, or $5,000 for social justice applicants. Moreover, Arizona dispensaries are required to renew their licenses on an annual or biannual basis to comply with state regulations. If one plans to operate a dual business that is authorized to cultivate cannabis, additional applications, license fees, and regulations may apply. Additionally, medical marijuana dispensaries must employ a licensed physician as per the requirements.

However, the majority of medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Arizona have already been issued. The state will be receiving applications for recreational dispensaries from January 19, 2021, to March 19, 2021, and will give priority to current medical marijuana dispensaries looking to transition to recreational or a combination of medical and recreational business models.

In situations where licenses are unavailable, purchasing an existing license and modifying the business according to your preferences might be the optimal course of action.

Contact PayRio today for more information on how are services can solve your payment processing needs & more for your Arizona cannabusiness.


Arizona has a relatively recent history with cannabis legalization. In 2010, the state passed a limited medical cannabis law, which allowed for the use of cannabis for certain medical conditions with a doctor’s recommendation. The law also created a regulatory framework for the cultivation, production, and sale of medical cannabis products.

In 2016, Arizona voters narrowly rejected Proposition 205, which would have legalized the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and over. However, in 2020, Arizona voters approved Proposition 207, which legalized the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and over. The law also created a regulatory framework for the commercial cultivation, production, and sale of cannabis products.

Since the passage of Proposition 207, Arizona has faced challenges in implementing the law and regulating the cannabis industry. The state has struggled to issue licenses to cannabis businesses, leading to a slow rollout of legal sales. Additionally, the law maintains criminal penalties for possession of more than the legal limit of cannabis, and there have been concerns about over-policing and racial disparities in enforcement.

Despite these challenges, the legalization of cannabis in Arizona represents a significant shift in the state’s drug policy and could have a significant impact on the state’s economy and criminal justice system.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.