Arizona's Legal Dispensaries Sold More Than 2.5 Tons of Medical Marijuana in First Year

Categories: Medical Weed

Image: Wikimedia commons
Arizona's medical-marijuana dispensaries sold more than 2.5 tons of marijuana in the past 12 months, officials say.

From December 6th, 2012 -- opening day for the state's first state-authorized dispensary, Arizona Organix -- to December 9th of this year, 5,279 pounds of marijuana were sold, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The health department provided the numbers this morning following a New Times records request made last month.

See also:
- Arizona Medical-Marijuana List of 48 State-Authorized Dispensaries Released by DHS

Online records show 77 dispensaries are now open across Arizona, with a few more scheduled for openings in early 2014. Voters approved Arizona's medical-marijuana law, which authorizes the shops, in a 2010 ballot initiative.

A total of 376,231 transactions took place in the given time-frame, the DHS says, resulting in the sale of 84,456.08 ounces -- or about 5,279 pounds of marijuana. (A further breakdown of the weight into buds and other preparations of marijuana, such as the ingredients of medical-marijuana-infused food and drinks, wasn't available.) Considering that most of the 77 shops weren't open until the last few months, it's an impressive number.

The figure also seems to indicate that the state's 40,000-or-so medical-marijuana patients so far aren't buying anywhere their statutory limit of five ounces a month. If the patients were buying the max, (perhaps to sell it elsewhere), that would be 200,000 ounces sold each month. Of course, the program is still getting started -- the 2014 total will be more reflective of the fully built-out dispensary program. Plus, it's possible that elderly sick folks are not buying as much as the 18-30 crowd that make up 25 percent of the total patients.

Whatever the patients' reason for their purchase, the program is obviously taking at least a small bite out of crime.

That's 2.5 tons that wasn't smuggled over the international border or grown by black-market farmers. The tonnage and total transactions also represent crimes that didn't require expensive investigations, arrests, jailings and court dates, giving police, prosecutors and the courts more time to deal with real crime.

Legalizing marijuana outright in Arizona, as some would like to do, would have an even greater positive effect on the criminal justice system.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.
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2.5 Tons that's a great news, it happens only by the legalization of marijuana.


THANKS for article .Lots  of inside baseball stats for those of us with the interest in this stuff.

dennis20 topcommenter

We already know that legalization helps the economy and gets rid of the cartels. But we still haven't tapped nto the industrial hemp market which would help the economy and the enviroment.  

Dontbelieveit topcommenter

Pot should be LEGAL PERIOD............just like a petunia or a rose .......SHEEEEESH GET OVER IT  it's a plant.

WhoKnows topcommenter

The reality is, is that pot should be just as legal, as beer, and taxed at the same level.

Beer is more harmful than pot, and this would will kill off the cartels, as pot is their main money maker.


Why don't you ask the dept of health how many cultivation sites have been cleared to operate and the time they planted first crop, from a 3 mth turn around to get a yield there is no way that they had 2.5 tons without being smuggled in from Cali. Then let's get a new times writer with a 203 card then you can write that we are keeping business's in AZ and stopping the illegal trade by going and seeing yourself the quality of so called medical grade weed.


I'm an AZ card holder and it's cheaper to purchase cannabis on the black market. The quality is about the same or better and there is no set limit of 2.5 ounces every 14 days. Not that I consume that much, less than half that actually, but it's cheaper to buy in bulk and always a good idea to stockpile necessities, just in case. 



QUOTE RAY STERN "Arizona's Legal Dispensaries Sold More Than 2.5 Tons of Medical Marijuana in First Year"/QUOTE


Marijuana consumption in Washington state is about twice as large as previously estimated, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Using federal data and information from a new survey of marijuana users in Washington state, researchers say marijuana consumption likely will range from 135 metric tons to 225 metric tons during 2013, with 175 metric tons as the median estimate.


Washington population

  • 6,897,012 (2012)

Arizona population

  • 6,553,255 (2012)


No cartels ended, no change in economy..... clouded mind much?


@dennis20 What cartels has it gotten rid of and please provide proof it has helped the economy, where did the money go and what did it do?


@dennis20 It would be great to see what products could be replaced with hemp such as paper, clothing, oils, supplements, ect.


@gonzo1986 Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and California is where it came from.

Flyer9753 topcommenter


It was not smuggled in from Cali or Mexico, it was grown right here.

Do you really think there were not large grow operations here prior to the first dispensary opening or even being granted a license?

There were and thanks to the Republican retards in our state legislature, EVERYONE with a usage card was able to grow for almost a full year prior to the first dispensary opening. 

That's where the first crops came from.


@highdesert420 crazy, who would have ever thought a government intervention would create inefficiencies and price increases 

Flyer9753 topcommenter


This is the problem with AZ MJ Laws, thanks to the Republitards.

The law itself drives people to the black market due to cost. Granted a large majority of people will get it from the dispensaries to avoid the risk of the black market, but there is still a large amount of people who will go to the black market due to price.

CA had the same problem initially and it took a voter initiative to change the law to bring the prices down. I hope that happens in AZ.

I also hope, since I expect it to be fully legalized within the next 5-10 years at the most, that they don't make the same mistake when they legalize it.


@NOPEUDOPE taxing it helps the economy.  regulation keeps people out of jail.  keeping the current system, costs you more to keep non-violent cannabis users behind bars.  

Besides, everything you buy is already taxed and regulated in some way, so what logic are you using to think that you can get away with anything different?


And the people that have been growing since 203 went into effect have to give with no monetary value to the dispensary for them to resale, and that to is supposed to be documented to the dept of health but I guess the average az grower will just give up free weed since srp,APS and grow equipment are all free as well, and if you can't walk into a state run pot shop and tell the difference between home grown indoor and the vacuumed packed last year Cali outs you should be glad you don't have grow rights.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @highdesert420 

Well the Stupid Stoners who wrote Arizona's MMJ proposition should have at least studied and learned from other state's MMJ mistakes before they foolishly rushed ahead to simply repeat them.

Just as Arizona is now rushing to replicated the FAILURES of Colorado's Amendment 64.

If the proposition does not repeal existing FELONY and MISDEMEANOR marijuana statutes -- it AIN'T LEGALIZATION.


@DonkeyHotay @Flyer9753 @highdesert420 Look guys, a prohibition absolutist (DH) is giving us "advice" on why Arizona's MMJ program isn't good enough. That's like receiving guidance from Gil Kerlikowske on the best approach to legalizing medical cannabis...

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