Program to create 'social equity' licenses for marijuana shops in Arizona hit with lawsuit –

A lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to stop Arizona’s social-equity marijuana shop program and prevent big dispensaries from snapping up the 26 lucrative licenses that are intended to help people harmed by old marijuana laws. 

The litigation could delay the state’s plans to issue the licenses early next year.

The complaint filed in Maricopa County Superior Court says the rules don’t meet the requirements set out in Proposition 207 legalizing adult-use of marijuana, which voters overwhelmingly approved last year.

The measure also requires the state to establish a program for new marijuana shops to benefit communities negatively affected by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.

The challenge was filed by Greater Phoenix Urban League, a nonprofit aimed at helping minority communities, and Acre 41, a group of women entrepreneurs who planned to apply for a marijuana shop license through the program.