The United States of America has gone from the world’s premier deterrent and prosecutor of cannabis use to now leading the forefront of marijuana legalization and decriminalization. In essence, marijuana is finally leaving the shadows of the black market and stepping into the limelight of big business.
This social and legal change has been awkward and full of controversy throughout the country. But it’s a more than overdue change in policy. Marijuana, especially for medicinal and healing reasons, has been used for thousands of years by humans. Only recently in the early 1900s did the plant become illegal in any form in the US. Medical marijuana was even legal throughout the country until 1970 when new drugs laws made cannabis a “Schedule 1” drug under federal drug law mandates. By labeling it a “Schedule 1” drug the United States came to the misinformed decision to classify marijuana as a drug that has “no medical value” at all.
While the whole nation’s mindset about cannabis is shifting quickly, Arizona has quietly and quickly become a leading player in the United States’ cannabis, namely medical marijuana, scene. Arizona is now the third leading medical marijuana market in the nation after only California and Michigan in total patient counts. It is amazing to see how far Arizona’s cannabis legislation has come since we voted medical marijuana into law in 1996, had that struck down by the Governor to another medical marijuana initiative that passed in 2010 that finally came into law to a leading position in the nationwide medical marijuana market.
Arizona’s medical marijuana program added about 27,000 patients in 2016. This patient increase amounts to about a 30 percent growth that brought the total patient count to nearly 115,000. This increase made Arizona’s medical marijuana patient program pass Colorado’s in patient counts. Colorado’s patients currently number at about 100,000 people.
This is further backed by the fact that growth in the medical marijuana patient base in Arizona was quite steady for most of the year. The monthly growth rate for 2016 averaged about 2.2 %. This growth rate has always stayed between 1 % to 3 % last year except for the month of December when over 4,000 new patients registered into the program. This number accounted for more than the previous two months combined. It’s also worth noting that Colorado’s medical marijuana numbers have slightly dwindled coincidentally.
The growth in Arizona medical marijuana is further established by a few more facts. A record 29 tons of medical marijuana and medical concentrates were sold in Arizona dispensaries throughout 2016. That number is a 53 % increase in sales over 2015; that year Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries sold 19 tons to registered patients. The state of Arizona started 2016 with 94 operating medical marijuana dispensaries, and then the Department of Health dispersed 31 additional marijuana dispensary licenses in October. Almost 750 applicants submitted bids for these 31 highly coveted licenses. It was very possibly the largest ratio of applications to licenses for medical marijuana dispensary licenses in any state throughout the nation.
What is most important is that medical marijuana patients can safely get their cannabis and marijuana concentrates from reliable and educated marijuana dispensaries. Luckily, finding a nearby marijuana dispensary is no longer a difficult task when it comes to Arizona. It seems that Arizona medical marijuana is here to remain and grow in its stature as a nationwide leader as a proponent of cannabis and its medical properties.
For any questions on medical marijuana, medical concentrates or finding your closest marijuana dispensary contact our team here at K.I.N.D. Concentrates.