AZ Big Media How changing perceptions of cannabis boost economic impact of dispensaries – AZ Big Media

Cannabis use in Arizona has come a long way.

From the early days when the state legalized medical marijuana use and possession in 2010, to recreational use in 2020, and now looking ahead at upcoming milestones, there has been a drastic change in the way cannabis is perceived.

About a decade ago, having a dispensary in the neighborhood was a harrowing thought for some communities. However, today, dispensaries are viewed like pharmacies – they offer essential services that help to provide medicine and relief to individuals who battle life-altering pain and illnesses, from cancer and epilepsy to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as neurologic conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

READ ALSO: Here’s why Arizona cannabis sales are expected to blossom

Similarly, Arizona’s cannabis industry has become a lifeblood for a host of nonprofits dedicated to improving the status quo for thousands of underserved groups and communities.

Beyond the $261 million in excise taxes collected from January 2021 through February 2022 in Arizona that go toward education, law enforcement and other critical services, dispensaries are helping many grassroots organizations. Whether through awareness-generating partnerships, unique programs to benefit recipients or funding of crucial programs and services, the cannabis community has

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