The Marijuana Policy Project has filed paperwork with Arizona election officials to form a committee to begin raising funds for a 2016 citizens’ initiative to make the adult use of marijuana legal.
Despite the state’s traditionally conservative patterns, Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the group has sufficient support in Arizona.
“It appears most Arizona voters are ready to adopt a more sensible policy,” he said. “There were a large number of supporters who got on board (in 2010) and are ready to move forward.”
According to Tvert, a regulated retail market will not affect the medical marijuana business in Arizona. There would likely be a differentiation between the medical and adult retail business models — similar to what is currently in place in Colorado.
Moreover, Tvert said that if the 2016 citizens’ initiative in Arizona passes, existing medical marijuana dispensaries could also begin selling retail marijuana products, so long as the inventories are kept completely separate.
“Those businesses have established themselves and demonstrated they’re willing and able to follow the law,” he said. “It certainly makes sense to let those businesses be among the first to start providing marijuana to adults if the initiative passes.”
However, irrespective of what happens with Arizona’s medical marijuana business, Tvert said the initiative coalition will be sensitive to local needs.
“It will constantly evolve,” he said. “It will be, ‘This is what we believe is the best possible policy right now.’”