Arizona Cannabis Businesses are regulated by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act which is operated by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) from 2010.

The Arizona Department of Health Services issued licenses to produce, process, test, and/or retail medical cannabis on August 7, 2012. 98 applicants were selected by a random lottery organized and overseen by the Department of Health Services.

In 2015, ADHS indicated that it would offer a new application period for compassion centers (medical dispensaries). This was postponed after a moratorium on state rule-making, but the ADHS accepted applications in the summer of 2016.

In November 2016, Arizona voters decided against a ballot initiative proposing a recreational cannabis program (52%).

As of December 2017, Arizona had 152,979 registered medical cannabis patients and more than 150 state-licensed dispensaries.

State-licensed nonprofit dispensaries may produce and dispense cannabis to qualifying patients or designated caregivers on a not-for-profit basis.

  • Dispensaries must be licensed by the ADHS to legally operate.
  • Dispensaries must have an Arizona-licensed doctor on staff.
  • Dispensaries must be licensed by the ADHS to legally operate.
  • Dispensaries must have an Arizona-licensed doctor on staff.
  • For right allocation ADHS will first determine whether there is a county in which a dispensary registration certificate does not exist. If so, the Department will publicly identify that county and allocate one dispensary registration certificate within each identified county according to R9-17-303(B).
  • Department will give priority to the county with the highest number of qualifying patients who reside within the CHAA.

DRC Application Packet

The prospective nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary has submitted the following:

1. The application fee ($5,000).

2. An application, including:

  • (i) The legal name of the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary.
  • (ii) The physical address of the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary and the physical address of one additional location, if any, where marijuana will be cultivated, neither of which may be within five hundred feet of a public or private school existing before the date of the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary application.
  • (iii) The name, address and date of birth of each principal officer and board member of the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary.
  • (iv) The name, address and date of birth of each nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent.

3. Operating procedures consistent with department rules for oversight of the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary, including procedures to ensure accurate record-keeping and adequate security measures.

4. If the city, town or county in which the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary would be located has enacted zoning restrictions, a sworn statement certifying that the registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary is in compliance with the restrictions.


An applicant can add a cultivation site when submitting an application for approval to operate. After the initial dispensary registration certificate is issued, a dispensary may add a cultivation site (up to one per dispensary) or change a cultivation site’s location at any point during the process. There is a $2,500 fee for changing or adding a cultivation site to a dispensary’s registration certificate.

Infused Cannabis Products

Dispensaries must obtain a written authorization along with a Food Establishment License before preparing, selling or dispensing marijuana-infused edible food products. The Infusion Kitchen Application is provided on the ADHS website.

Designated caregivers are registered with the ADHS and have been issued a registry identification card which allows them to grow and dispense medical marijuana for up to five medical cannabis patients.

  • Caregiver must be 21 years old.
  • Caregiver must agree to assist one to five qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana.
  • Caregiver must not have been convicted of a drug felony and be fingerprinted for a background check.



We create medical and recreational cannabis business plans for different types of cannabis business:

Please do not hesitate to contact us to make an order for a cannabis business plan or a cannabis industry research. We will create complete and professional business plans, including pro forma financials and projections to help you know how much money it’ll cost to start your business and how much money you can make by starting and operating your 100% legally compliant medical and recreational marijuana business.

We also offer professional “70% ready to go” cannabis business plan templates and financial models tailored Arizona medical cannabis industry.

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