If Arizona voters approve Proposition 207, the state’s Constitution declares it will take effect as soon as all the votes have been counted and certified. Governor Doug Ducey would then issue a proclamation that officially makes the ballot measure a new law.
The state’s Constitution also keeps voter-approved initiatives — such as Prop 207 — from being stopped by the Legislature or the governor, KJZZ reported.
If Prop 207 passes, recreational cannabis would technically be legal as soon as it is certified. However, it could be a couple months or more before adults can legally buy the drug because the ballot measure requires the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to start licensing recreational marijuana dispensaries as early as January 2021, and those retail licenses could be approved as soon as February 1.
Prop 207 forces the government to establish all regulations for the new industry by April 5, 2021, so retail dispensary licenses would also have to be approved by then.
Technically, Arizonans should legally be allowed to begin using, possessing and growing marijuana immediately after the voter-approved initiative is certified (and to the extent that Prop 207 permits); However, local laws may prohibit this in some areas, such as in Gilbert.
The state’s current medical marijuana dispensaries would likely be the first businesses capable of selling recreational marijuana because they’re already established and only need to get a retail license approved by the ADHS.
In 2010, voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, but its implementation was delayed. Fortunately, Prop 207 has language written in it that would prevent such delays by allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling recreational marijuana to adults.