Arizona Begins Adult-Use Retail Sales Far Earlier Than Projected Image Source: Jay Galvin on Flickr
February 2, 2021

Legal cannabis sales to general consumers commenced in Arizona on Friday, January 22. According to a report from the Associated Press, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which oversees the state’s medical and adult-use cannabis systems, announced that day that 86 licenses had been approved to begin sales. Some licensees operate numerous storefront locations, so the number of actual shops allowed to sell to adults over 21 on the first day of sales was undoubtedly higher.

Actual sales figures have not yet been forthcoming from Arizona officials, but given that over 100 stores were likely able to begin sales last week, along with the robust production taking place previously under the state’s medical cannabis program, it seems probable that early adult-use sales figures out of Arizona may outpace those of other markets where fewer stores were open and pre-existing medical cannabis production was smaller.

As of last week, Arizona’s Spot Index had been fairly steady in January. We noted in last week’s Premium Report that the quick approvals for medical cannabis operators to sell to the adult-use market came as a surprise; previously, sales were not expected to begin until March or April. The abrupt and unexpected opening of the adult-use market may explain the lack of price fluctuation in the state’s wholesale sector in recent weeks.

Last week, during the first week of adult use dispensary sales, the state Spot jumped by over 3% with the volume-weighted price for indoor flower climbing by 6%.