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Arizona Republic tests the limit of the First Amendment

10/26/20--The Arizona Republic’s editorial board endorsed that state’s Proposition 207 to legalize, commercialize and tax recreational marijuana sales. In spite of advanced notice that what they were publishing was false, The Arizona Republic proceeded with what amounted to a front-page advertisement for the Marijuana Lobby. Read

Sahuarita regulates recreational marijuana

10/27/20--If recreational marijuana becomes legalized in Arizona, the Town of Sahuarita will prohibit strictly recreational dispensaries from opening within town limits. The council on Monday voted, 6-1, to adopt an ordinance placing restrictions on recreational marijuana should Prop. 207 pass Nov. 3. Under the ordinance, marijuana will be prohibited on public property and marijuana establishments will be prohibited in town limits, unless they are medical marijuana dispensaries or those with a dual license operating both a nonprofit medical dispensary and recreational dispensary in the same space. Read

A second Arizona town passes law to ban recreational marijuana

10/28/20--The small town of Sahuarita, Arizona has passed an ordinance to ban recreational marijuana, but only partially. Prop 207 is expected to pass, so anti-marijuana towns are starting to ban the industry as best as they can. Sahuarita has become the second town — with Gilbert being the first — that has passed a new anti-cannabis law. Read

A third Arizona town passes law to restrict recreational marijuana

11/1/20--The town of Payson in Arizona has decided to create some recreational marijuana restrictions. Payson’s new Ordinance 923 would prohibit cannabis on public property, enact “reasonable regulations” for residential cannabis cultivation, and give extra control to the town over where cannabis businesses may operate. Read

Pot initiative cash battle: Industry versus rich conservatives

10/22/20--The campaign to legalize recreational cannabis for adults in Arizona, Proposition 207, was recharged with nearly $1.47 million in late-summer donations, while the campaign against the initiative, Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, raised about $298,000, roughly one-fifth of the pro-cannabis side in that in the same time period. Its donations came largely from wealthy conservatives. Read

Anti-marijuana group files dark money complaint

10/8/20--Anti-marijuana activist and Billings auto dealership owner Steve Zabawa filed a complaint with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices demanding that a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group called North Fund be required to disclose its donors. Read

Prop. 207 would legalize marijuana, but it does a lot more

9/18/20--According to columnist Robert Robb, recreational marijuana should be legal. However, Proposition 207 does a lot more that should trouble even its supporters. Read

Tim Steller’s opinion: Effort to put Kanye West on AZ ballot relying on deception

9/2/20--In a last minute, high-priced effort to put musician Kanye West on Arizona’s ballot as an independent candidate for president, petition circulators might say they’re working for “independent candidates,” they might even say they’re collecting signatures for marijuana legalization — something that’s already on Arizona’s ballot. As mentioned in an editorial by Tim Steller, columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, when you combine a desperate petition effort with decent money, it’s not surprising deception results. Read

A within-person comparison of the subjective effects of higher vs. lower-potency cannabis

8/19/20--According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information comparing the subjective effects of concentrates and marijuana, the main difference in the subjective effects of marijuana and concentrates is in terms of their positive effects, with marijuana producing greater positive effects than concentrates. Negative effects of marijuana and concentrates were small, suggesting that extreme negative effects are unlikely for regular cannabis users. Read

A new lawsuit seeks to block Arizona’s marijuana legalization ballot measure

7/21/20--Opponents of cannabis legalization have filed a lawsuit against the Safe & Smart Arizona initiative in an attempt to keep it off the November 2020 ballot. The complaint, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on July 20, alleges that the 100-word summary statement used by petitioners to solicit signatures for the measure was misleading and left out key information. Read

Legalized weed headed for November ballot

7/7/20--Backers of a campaign to legalize recreational use of marijuana submitted about 420,000 signatures on petitions Wednesday to put the issue on the November ballot. However, it becomes only the first step in trying to convince Arizonans once again that they want to allow adults to buy and possess up to an ounce of marijuana or 12 plants. Read

Group ends its ballot push; backers of 2nd recreational-pot proposal keep up efforts

5/27/20--Arkansas True Grass, one of two groups pushing for a constitutional amendment that would legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas, is abandoning its efforts and will refocus on getting the measure on the 2022 ballot. Meanwhile, Arkansans for Cannabis Reform, another group hoping to qualify a recreational marijuana amendment for the November ballot, is continuing its signature-gathering efforts. Read

Arizona has good reason to be wary of Big Marijuana and the dangers today’s potent pot poses

5/26/20--In an op-ed by Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), he urges Arizonians to beware and emphasizes that Big Marijuana is peddling a ballot measure in Arizona that will benefit their own and leave the state facing a host of health and societal ills. Read

Arizona’s marijuana activists are united. Will that be enough for legalization this year?

4/16/20--Arizona politicians and activists have spent the last year introducing various bills and initiatives to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2020. However, a single ballot initiative has outlasted the rest spearheaded by the dispensary-led Smart and Safe Arizona Act. The campaign had amassed more than 300,000 signatures — seemingly well over the necessary threshold to get approved for the ballot in July. Read

A dispensary’s ex-staffers claim it ignored concerns, violated laws in Arizona

5/1/20--Two former employees of the multistate dispensary operator Harvest Health and Recreation are suing the company, accusing it of engaging in a slew of compliance violations and asking them to break Arizona law. Read

Arizona marijuana activists have more than enough signatures to put legalization on ballot, they say

3/26/20--At a time when drug policy reform campaigns across the country are suspending efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic, marijuana activists in Arizona say they’ve already collected more than enough signatures to qualify a legalization measure for the state’s November ballot. The Smart and Safe Arizona campaign to legalize cannabis for adult use said it has gathered more than 320,000 signatures—about 80,000 more than is required to make the ballot. Read

See AZ’s average price for marijuana flowers, edibles and concentrates

2/2/20--According to a new cannabis industry pricing guide, Arizona has some of the least expensive marijuana products in America. The pricing guide also reveals that many Arizona dispensaries see the highest profit margin from pre-rolls and the lowest from flowers. The lowest prices in the state appear to be for edibles such as foods and drinks. Read

Here’s where to sign the Arizona marijuana legalization ballot initiative

1/10/20--The highly supported Smart and Safe Arizona initiative that could legalize cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older in Arizona has quietly and swiftly gathered more than half of the signatures required to get listed on the ballots in November 2020. The easiest way for Arizonans to find the signature collectors is to contact their local dispensary and ask if/when a signature collector for the Smart and Safe initiative will be at the dispensary. Read

Purple haze: Marijuana farm causes purple glow over Snowflake after snow storm

1/11/20--A bright purple sky appeared over Snowflake, Arizona due to the lights from nearby marijuana farm Copperstate Farms. The landscape, with shades of pink and purple across clouds in the sky and a blanket of white snow on the ground, looked more like a video game than real life, and it was visible for miles, according to a Facebook post on Friday. Read

Group starts ballot petition process to make recreational marijuana legal in Arkansas

7/9/19--The Drug Policy Education Group, an Arkansas 501(c)4 nonprofit dedicated to reducing harm and promoting education about drug policies, will file two ballot petitions with the Arkansas Secretary of State on Wednesday, July 10. The first ballot petition proposes to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult recreational use in the state by December 4, 2020 while the second would allow persons with marijuana convictions involving less than 16 ounces to petition for expungement. Read

Medical marijuana edibles officially hit the market in Arkansas

6/14/19--Medical marijuana edibles are now available in Arkansas – one month after marijuana sales began in the state. The state’s two operating dispensaries – Doctor’s Orders and Green Springs Medical – received their first shipment of marijuana gummies on Friday. Both dispensaries, located in Hot Springs, anticipate added variety of edible products in the near future. Read

Military mom warns about the dangers of medical marijuana

4/27/19--Sally Schindel, co-founder of MomsStrong.com, says her son, Andy Zorn, committed suicide because of his marijuana use. Zorn served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. Read

Legalizing marijuana in Arizona gains support in new poll

3/8/19--A new poll from OH Predictive Insights shows most Arizona voters support legalizing "adult use" of marijuana, an encouraging sign for advocates who hope a ballot measure that uses similar language will pass next year. This poll of likely 2020 voters showed 52 percent in favor of marijuana legalization, 41 percent opposed, and 7 percent were undecided. Read

West Memphis officials optimistic about new medical marijuana dispensaries

2/11/19--Three medical marijuana dispensaries are set to open in West Memphis this year, the first of their kind in the Mid-South. Though medical marijuana is fairly new in the area, many have welcomed it with open arms, including city officials of West Memphis, who said it will do nothing but benefit the people and economy of the city. Read

Arizona Supreme Court agrees to review legality of medical-marijuana extracts

1/8/19--The Arizona Supreme Court will review the legality of medical-marijuana concentrates in the state, the court decided on Tuesday, giving a boost of hope to patients and industry advocates. Read

State suspends Globe bar’s liquor license after shooting deaths

11/16/18--State officials indefinitely suspended the liquor license of a Globe bar several days after a shooting there last Sunday left three people dead and another person seriously injured. Peter Schelstraete, an attorney for Jammerz bar owner Sara Hardy, says the state's suspension order was unusual and premature because the Globe Police Department hasn’t completed its investigation nor concluded any fault on the bar’s behalf. Read

N4T Investigators: Can medical marijuana users legally own guns?

10/26/18--The Gun Control Act of 1968 states anyone who uses marijuana is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Nevertheless, Arizona and a number of other states have passed laws that make the use of medical marijuana legal. So for now, unless congress takes action to legalize marijuana, Arizonans who want to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer, or own gun and have a medical marijuana card at the same time, technically must choose one or the other. Read

Opioid alternative? For some, marijuana helps control chronic pain

9/27/18--According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, which published its latest monthly report on the state’s medical marijuana program in August, more than 87 percent of medical marijuana patients suffer chronic pain as their qualifying medical condition — that’s nearly 155,500 people. Read

Bid to put recreational marijuana on November ballot fails

7/5/18--Another attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona went up in smoke Thursday when Safer Arizona missed the 5 p.m. deadline to file petitions to get on the Nov. 6 ballot. A representative of the grassroots group said that it had collected about 75,000 of the 150,625 signatures needed to qualify the Safer Arizona Cannabis Legalization Act for the ballot. The group had hoped to collect 225,000 signatures; the group had been gathering signatures since November. Read

Arizona dispensaries sell cannabis extracts in defiance of court ruling

7/2/18--Dispensary associations and operators say they'll wait for a final ruling on the matter by the Arizona Supreme Court. Until then, they will continue to sell the products targeted by appeals court decision. The position is something of a gamble because the appeals court ruling technically applies statewide. Potentially, patients and dispensaries now face criminal prosecution over extracts, which are made into popular products found at dispensaries like vape pen oil, infused edibles, and shatter. Read

You can now get a degree in marijuana in the Valley

11/10/17--Herbal Risings, the Valley's first school focusing on all things marijuana, was started by Chad Olshavsky in 2014 as a way to prepare individuals who want to work in the industry. "We understand what they are looking for in an employee, so we put all that together in a one-day class," Olshavsky explained. The class is six hours long and features guest speakers. Students are handed a certificate once completed. Read

Arkansas AG again rejects marijuana legalization ballot attempt

10/9/17--Arkansas’ attorney general’s office has rejected language proposed for a 2018 ballot issue, saying the attempt to legalize marijuana is too ambiguous to make sense. The attorney general’s office expressed concerns about a provision that allowed a grower to have 25 mature plants and 25 non-mature plants. Read

Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo kicks off in Phoenix

10/13/17--Marijuana entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, educators, and non-profits headed to the third annual Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo to learn more about the marijuana industry and what its future may look like. With a focus on education and challenging stereotypes, many conference attendees and exhibitors have a positive outlook about the industry's future. Read

A tough job, but ASU will pay medical-marijuana consumers for new study

9/11/17--ASU researcher Madeline Meier, who has been on the forefront of medical-marijuana health research, confirmed that Arizona State University wants to study individuals who consume cannabis legally as Arizona medical-marijuana patients. However, what is unclear is exactly what the study is trying to determine, beyond the effects of different "types" of cannabis. Read

Arizona Supreme Court to hear lawsuit over medical marijuana on campus

8/9/17--Arizona Supreme Court will hear a challenge to law outlawing the possession of medical marijuana on college campuses. Plaintiff Andre Maestas, a medical marijuana patient, filed a lawsuit after being arrested on the Arizona State University campus for possessing doctor-recommended cannabis. His lawyer argues that the state had no legal authority to criminalize on-campus possession and is asking the court to throw out Maestas’ conviction. Read

Be glad Arizona turned down recreational marijuana

7/28/17--Arizona voters last year rejected a bloated proposal to legalize recreational marijuana, choosing instead to let other states experiment with this drug. Early results confirm Arizonans’ wisdom. Every state that has legalized recreational marijuana has seen an increase in traffic deaths involving stoned drivers. Read

Remedy tangerine THC syrup

6/13/17--Dope magazine writer Jesse Perry reports on Remedy Tangerine THC Syrup, a natural agave syrup infused with The Clear’s solvent-free distillate oil, and blended with tangerine terpenes to create a truly unique remedy option for cannabis consumers that is effective. Upon applying a dose of Remedy to his tongue, Perry states that he quickly felt a sense of calm with a clear and focused mind as the effects rested in his muscles and behind his eyes. Read

Benson woman arrested after 1,100 pounds of marijuana seized

6/9/17--Border Patrol agents from the Tucson Sector's Sonoita Station have seized more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana worth more than $500,000 and arrested a Benson woman on suspicion of smuggling a controlled substance. Read

Safer Arizona continues saga for marijuana legalization in Phoenix

6/4/17--Since Arizona is still hesitant about embracing the legalization of marijuana, Safer Arizona continues spread awareness and invoke their advocacies to other people about the benefits of cannabis in both personal and economic status. Although the fight for marijuana legalization by Safer Arizona has piqued the interest of some, others who have the same interest in making marijuana legal contradict Safer Arizona as they think that the group can’t influence the decision of the state. Read

Keep paying higher fees for medical marijuana users, Arizona judge rules

5/19/17--Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry has rebuffed efforts by medical marijuana users to force the state to reduce the fees it charges patients. Judge Gentry said she does not dispute that the Department of Health Services is collecting more from medical marijuana users than it needs to administer the program. Read

Mesa couple arrested; children found in feces

4/25/17--Aaron Fish and Amanda Sistrunk, a Mesa couple whom authorities were seeking in connection with drug-related offenses, were found at their home with two small children locked in a bedroom and covered in feces, police records say. Police were serving a warrant on the couple at the time after finding cocaine and 5 pounds of marijuana. Read

Medical marijuana in the workplace still a ‘gray’ area for Valley employees

4/20/17--While medical marijuana may have come a long way in the state of Arizona, when it comes to using it in the workplace, even those with prescriptions and state-issued cards are learning it's not enough to protect their jobs. ABC15 News reached out to lawyers who said the use of medical marijuana at a workplace is still a very gray area. Read

Moms say medical marijuana transformed their children’s lives

4/17/17--A group of moms who have been fighting the stigma, paving the way, and educating themselves about the benefits of medical marijuana say they're doing it for their children, all of whom are fighting chronic illnesses. The mothers who are part of the organization MomForce Arizona are also dedicating their lives to educating other parents about the effects it had on their children. Read

Robbers hitting Phoenix medical-marijuana dispensaries

4/11/17--A spate of recent robberies and thefts at Phoenix-area dispensaries has medical-marijuana representatives talking about the need for improved security and better banking policies. Read

Phoenix police searching for men after marijuana dispensary robbed at gunpoint

4/8/17--Silent Witness is asking for the public's help in identifying a group of men after Bloom Dispensary in Phoenix was robbed at gunpoint. Authorities say the robbery happened on the night of March 26. Read

Ruling overturns law banning medical marijuana on campuses

4/6/17--An appellate court ruled that Arizona colleges and universities can prohibit medical marijuana on campuses but lawmakers can't make it a crime. The ruling struck down a 2012 decision by the Legislature to expand the off-limits list by adding college and university campuses. Read

A pharma company just got DEA approval for synthetic marijuana

3/24/17--Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that was one of the chief financial backers of the opposition to marijuana legalization in Arizona last year, received preliminary approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration this week for Syndros, a synthetic marijuana drug, to treat nausea, vomiting, and weight loss in cancer and AIDS patients. Read

Marijuana’s biggest enemy is not Jeff Sessions–It’s Big Pharma

3/29/17--As marijuana gains footing as a treatment for chronic and neuropathic pain, legalization's biggest villain is, perhaps, the pharmaceutical industry, according to an Esquire article by Ricardo Baca. Recent news could indicate a tipping point in Big Pharma's quest to squash voter-approved pot-legalizing initiatives while preserving the medical marijuana market for its own products. Read

Canadian producer invests $3M in Arizona medical marijuana grower

3/28/17--Aphria, a federally licensed Canadian medical marijuana producer, increased its investment in an Arizona medical marijuana grower by $3 million. Aphria now owns 5% of Copperstate Farms LLC through its subsidiary, Aphria (Arizona), and Copperstate Farms Investors controls the remaining 95%. Copperstate owns about 1.7 million square feet of greenhouses in Snowflake, Arizona, and plans to have approximately 348,000 square feet of that space in operation for medical cannabis production by the fall. Read

Got a medical marijuana card? You can’t own a gun

2/22/17--If you hold a medical marijuana card in Arizona, you cannot possess a firearm. The U.S. Department of Justice has had a longtime ban on gun sales to marijuana users because, although the state of Arizona allows the use of medical marijuana, it’s still illegal to possess or use under federal law. However, this doesn’t cover people who already own a firearm when they get their card.

Here’s why this marijuana stock jumped 15% this week

2/17/17--Insys Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:INSY) share price climbed 15% this week after management provided a limited update on its progress developing medicine made using marijuana's chemical cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). The update on the company's CBD program doesn't provide a lot of details for investors to digest, but it does suggest that Insys Therapeutics hasn't abandoned programs to develop CBD for epilepsy and, possibly, other indications. Read

Could Arizona voters get another chance to legalize recreational pot?

2/15/17--There's a chance voters could decide on recreational marijuana again in Arizona — and that chance could come as early as November 2018. Safer Arizona will start the process of obtaining signatures in order to get their measure on the ballot in time. Read

First marijuana testing for vets with PTSD underway in Phoenix

2/10/17--The first-ever clinical study of smoked cannabis for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder took place in Phoenix this week, making medical-marijuana history. The California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is conducting the study with the help of a $2.16 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Read

Arizona growing into medical marijuana juggernaut

2/6/16--Arizona has grown into one of the largest medical cannabis markets in the nation, behind only California and Michigan in terms of patient counts. Looking forward to 2017, Arizona’s medical cannabis industry shows no signs of slowing down and likely will continue to develop into one of the more lucrative markets in the nation. Read

Arizona medical marijuana dispensary issues recall

2/1/17--Flourish Cannabis, an Arizona-based medical marijuana dispensary, is issuing a voluntary recall on several of its edible food items, citing a packaging issue. Peyton Curry, founder of Flourish, said the recall was issued because the dispensary did not meet the packing requirements for Coconino County. Read

Court rules medical marijuana users cannot be charged with DUI

1/6/17--Arizona’s Court of Appeals ruled that legal medical cannabis patients can fight their DUI charges. The burden of proof for charging cannabis users with a DUI is now on the police, not patients. Medical marijuana patients charged with a DUI can fight it in court, and it’s now up to the arresting officer to prove that the THC impaired the driver. Read

Snoop Dogg to visit Scottsdale marijuana dispensary

12/29/16--Rap star Snoop Dogg is visiting Level Up, a medical marijuana dispensary located in Scottsdale. Snoop is visiting the area as part of his "Puff Puff Pass" tour. Read

Arizona court makes huge ruling for MMJ cardholders accused of driving high

12/23/16--An Arizona court ruling says medical marijuana cardholders accused of driving under the influence have options for showing in court that there wasn’t enough marijuana compound in their bodies to cause impairment. The Court of Appeals ruling Thursday vacates a man’s conviction for driving while marijuana or a marijuana compound was in his body and says he was entitled to present evidence that he wasn’t impaired. Read

Survey: Marijuana use up, alcohol consumption down among Arizona teens

12/20/16--Marijuana use is up among Arizona teenagers and about one in five high school seniors said they had driven under the influence of marijuana in the previous 30 days, according to survey results released by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. Prescription pain reliever use also is on the rise, but alcohol use has dropped according to the survey of more than 57,000 students in eighth, 10th, and 12th grades from all 15 counties in Arizona during spring 2016. Read  

Marijuana company’s in hot water with the DOJ

12/9/16--More uncertainty on the future of Insys Therapeutics exists due to several former pharmaceutical executives and managers, including former CEO Michael Babich, being arrested on charges that they led a nationwide conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners to unnecessarily prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication and defraud healthcare insurers. Overall, Insys Therapeutics' troubles are a win for competitors that are developing marijuana medicine, notably GW Pharmaceuticals. Read