TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Arizona wanted to legalize recreational marijuana through a socially equitable lens. That means the owners of the 26 companies allowed to open a recreational dispensary had to be legally, financially, or geographically impacted by former marijuana laws. But the city and local dispensaries say this goal was not met.
“I think what happened initially is that the state put together their rules and regulations without enough due diligence,” said Jean Paul Genet, Partner with GreenMed Inc.
Just the application to receive a social equity license and open a recreational dispensary cost $4,000. As a result, many of the applicants received financial backing from bigger corporations. And there are no rules preventing license holders from selling ownership.
“This program was developed for people who have been depressed socially and if you are going to do that, you have to provide support through the process,” Genet said.
That’s why the City of Tucson is requiring a public hearing process for dispensary owners before they can build. The goal is to meet the owners of these new dispensaries, and ensure they fit the requirements for social equity. But, this process would take six months.
“A potential applicant who’s considering Tucson would say ‘I’m