Despite new dispensary licenses, 'social equity' winners could face tough road ahead – Arizona Daily Star

Edward Celaya

The room inside the Arizona Department of Health Services Offices in Phoenix was filled Friday with department dignitaries, media and representatives of applicants seeking one of 26 “social equity” licenses needed to operate a recreational marijuana dispensary in the state.

There was no bingo wheel, no cage spinning full of of ping pong balls or applications. Instead, a computer processed nearly 1,300 application numbers and selected the 26 winners within a few moments. Online, hundreds of candidates for Arizona’s Social Equity Dispensary Program waited anxiously to see who was lucky enough to win one of lucrative 26 issued licenses.

Though the name and number on the application of the winners is now known, who the individuals or companies are behind the applications was not immediately known.

Most of the applicants that were selected were listed as Limited Liability Companies registered in the Phoenix area. Three winning applicants had Pima County addresses on their LLC filings with the Arizona Corporation Commission: Higher Than High I, Joint Junkies I, and Juicy Joint I. (See box for names of those selected)

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