How to Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Arizona

How to Open a Marijuana Dispensary in Arizona

How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in ArizonaHow to open a cannabis dispensary in Arizona – a question that’s on every cannabis entrepreneur’s mind. ‘Smart and Safe Arizona’ passed this November and new regulations are out. We recently spoke with Arizona cannabis lawyer, Thomas Dean, to discuss ‘Smart and Safe Arizona’ and the license application process.

“Right now Arizona has about a quarter of a million patients. If that’s any indicator of the number of adults that would be interested in being recreational consumers, I think we stand to dramatically triple or quadruple sales very quickly should recreational pass.” – Tom Dean, Arizona Cannabis Lawyer

Listen to it on our PodCast Cannabis Legalization News or Watch the YouTube titled Arizona Cannabis Lawyer.

RELATED POST: How to Open a Marijuana Business Establishment in Arizona

RELATED POST: Arizona Cannabis Lawyer

Opening a marijuana dispensary in Arizona is now possible, regulations are drafted and now Arizonians can know the details of how to open a marijuana dispensary.

Opening a cannabis dispensary will require some preparation and consideration of the licensing and permit regulations in Arizona. You may need to prepare for opening a business with adequate documentation.

It is best to go for the standards when it comes to opening a business because each step in the process is important. Make sure you are well-guided and are working with Marijuana Business Licenses experts that can assist you with your application

Steps to Apply for a Dispensary License in Arizona:

Submitting the marijuana establishment license application:

Submit your marijuana establishment application electronically to the Depatment, between January 19, 2021 and March 9, 2021. The documentation  must include the following information:

  • Name of the proposed marijuana establishment
  • The physical address of the proposed marijuana establishment
  • County in which it would be located
  • Following information of the applicant:
    1. Name of the entity applying,
    2. Telephonenumber,and
    3. E-mail address;
    4. Arizona mailing address,
    5. Type of business organization,
  • For a business organization that is not a publicly traded corporation, the name, residence address, and date of birth of each principal officer or board member;
  • For a business organization that is a publicly traded corporation, the name, residence address, and date of birth of each principal officer or board member who is entitled to 10% or more of the profits of the proposed marijuana establishment;
  • Confirmation of whether the applicant agrees to allow the Department to submit supplemental requests for information;
  • Statement that, the proposed marijuana establishment will not operate until the proposed marijuana establishment is inspected and obtains an approval to operate from the Department;
  • Attestation that information provided to the Department to apply for a marijuana establishment license is true and correct;
  • The signatures of each principal officer and board member of the proposed marijuana establishment

Additional documentation must be submitted:

  • Documentation that the applicant is in good standing with the Arizona Corporation Commission;
  • Documentation of the principal officer’s or board member’s marijuana facility agent license;
  • A statement signed certifying that the proposed marijuana establishment is in compliance with any local zoning restrictions. The statement must include the legal name of the marijuana establishment or identify at least one principal officer or board member;
  • Documentation of ownership of the physical address of the proposed marijuana establishment or permission from the owner signed, notarized, and dated within 60 calendar days before the days of application;
  • Documentation confirming that the applicant has at least $500,000 in funds available;
  • The applicable fee  for applying for a marijuana establishment license.

Applying for an approval To Operate a Marijuana Establishment in Arizona

Before an entity with a marijuana establishment license begins operating a marijuana establishment, it has to obtain an approval tooperate a marijuana establishment from the Department.

To apply a principal officer or board member has to submit to the Department, within 18 months after the marijuana establishment license was issued the following documents:

  • Document with the following information:
    1. The name and license number of the marijuana establishment;
    2. The physical address of the marijuana establishment’s retail location;
    3. The marijuana establishment’s Transaction Privilege Tax Number issued by the Arizona Department of Revenue;
    4. The marijuana establishment’s proposed hours of operation;
    5. Whether the marijuana establishment agrees to allow the Department to submit supplemental requests for information;
    6. An attestation that the information provided to the Department to apply for approval to operate a marijuana establishment is true and correct; and
    7. The signature of each principal officer and board member of the marijuana
  • A copy of documentation issued by the local jurisdiction to the marijuana establishment authorizing occupancy of the building as a marijuana establishment’s retail location, such as a certificate of occupancy, a special use permit, or a conditional use permit;
  • A list of which of the following activities the marijuana establishments is requesting approval to provide at the retail location:
    1. Cultivation,
    2. Manufacturing of marijuana products, or
    3. Preparation of edible marijuana products;
  • If requesting approval of preparing edible marijuana products, a copy of the marijuana establishment’s license or permit of the location as a food establishment
  • A site plan drawn to scale of the marijuana establishment’s retail location showing streets, property lines of the contiguous premises, buildings, parking areas, outdoor areas if applicable, fences, security features, fire hydrants if applicable, and access to water mains; and
  • A floor plan drawn to scale of the building where the marijuana establishment’s retail location is located showing the:
    1. Layout and dimensions of each room,
    2. Name and function of each room,
    3. Location of each hand washing sink,
    4. Location of each toilet room,
    5. Means of egress,
    6. Location of each video camera,
    7. Location of each panic button, and
    8. Location of natural and artificial lighting sources.

Here are Arizona Regulations to Follow to Open a Dispensary

How to Prepare to Get Your Dispensary License in Arizona

Here, you can see the main points of market research and application processes before starting a business. To prepare for the application and opening a business, you may consider the following aspects of dispensary opening in Arizona.

1. A Business Plan for a Cannabis Dispensary

First of all, you need the right cannabis business plan. As part of the program, you will clarify what kind of dispensary you want to open, how long you plan to operate in Arizona, and what the main points of your business are.

Arizona is no different than other states when it comes to business regulations, and you may need to read more about business endeavors existing here. 

You can search for the cannabis business owners and see how they already operate on a daily level. You will find that each cannabis dispensary has a well-defined structure to deliver the products to their customers. In your business, you may apply the same.

2. Search for the Regulations

As part of the actual cannabis regulations in Arizona, you will find that the Arizonian market is very potent in terms of profit and product delivery. The predictions say the market will generate more than $700 million in revenue this year. It is a huge opportunity and a boost for all the business owners who already have dispensaries or plan to open new ones in the state. 

Regulation in Arizona says that all dispensary owners need to consider the needs of medical marijuana patients. So far, there are more than 230,000 medical marijuana patients in this state, which is a large number when comparing to Illinois, for example, where the population is almost double, and the number of patients doesn’t exceed 120,000. 

These numbers speak about the potential of the Arizonian market when it comes to opening cannabis dispensary stores.

There are already 131 dispensaries, and the space for the new stores is always there. If you succeed in finding the place on the market, the revenue predictions are very high.

3. Go Proactive

Opening a cannabis dispensary in Arizona will let you discover the market potential. You will also find many market distribution opportunities.

In Arizona, we have the most significant company for marijuana distribution in the US. It is Harvest Health and Recreation Inc. with more than 70 dispensaries across nine states. The firm’s revenue was $45 million in the first quarter of 2020, which speaks about the successful operations in all nine states. 

At the moment, Harvest Health plans to own more than ten dispensaries in Arizona, which will position this company as a leader.

This company and many others that operate in Arizona show how a successful business can create many other business opportunities.

Opening a dispensary in Arizona is not only lucrative and profitable. It also puts you in the place of the potential leader on the market where the demand for medical marijuana is enormous, and the number of dispensaries is still not enough to feed the market.

4. Stay On the Side of the Law

In terms of cannabis regulations in Arizona, we find one point very important. If you want to open a dispensary, you must comply with the official rules in this state.

It is known that Arizona state has some of the most lucrative markets in the entire nation, but not all the businesses have perspective if they fail to comply with regulations.

For that reason, we’ve created the list of the documents you will need to get a dispensary license in Arizona that will let you start a new business successfully.

5. Get the Most Out of the Dispensary Business

Opening a cannabis dispensary will sometimes require more than application forms. In this light, you may need to search for the market opportunities and the specific zoning requirements for the Arizona state.

Getting the most out of the dispensary business also means using all the business opportunities in front of you. This involves the creation of a business plan that will lead you to profit and success. 

At the same time, it is relevant to stay productive once you start your business. Keeping the plan accurate will make your dispensary business more successful in the long run.

Documents You’ll Need to Open a Dispensary

How to Open a Cannabis Dispensary in ArizonaTo open a cannabis dispensary in Arizona, you’ll need to apply for a dispensary license and search for your business partners.

It is crucially important to fill in the documents well. That is why we present some rules and regulations in filling the dispensary opening documents for the cannabis business in Arizona.

This list includes some of the most relevant documents for opening a cannabis business. 

You will find information that you need to provide to the official regulatory body in Arizona, which is the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).


Application for Approval to Operate a Dispensary

According to the Department, you need to obtain an application for approval to operate a dispensary. In this application form, you select:

  • The name and registry identification number of the dispensary
  • The physical address of the dispensary
  • The name, address, and date of birth of each dispensary agent
  • The name and license number of the dispensary’s medical director
  • The dispensary’s Transaction Privilege Tax Number issued by the Arizona Department of Revenue
  • The dispensary’s proposed hours of operation during which the dispensary plans to be available to dispense medical marijuana to qualifying patients and designated caregivers

There are also some other points to consider, like dispensary’s cultivation site and inspection preparation aspects you need to comply with at the time.

Also, you need to know the main parts of your security at the dispensary. Provide more details about your light areas, alarm buttons, fire hydrants, fences, property lines, functions of each room, and other safety and sanitary elements.

A cannabis dispensary application is crucial for opening a dispensary because it is proof that your business will be organized according to ADHS regulations.

You can send the application to the Arizona Department of Health Services for approval once you are ready to apply for a dispensary in Arizona. 

Note that the officials have many applications to review every month, and your application must be complete to pass the awarding process.

Registration Certificate Application

After you pass the application procedure and get the approval, you need to make an application for registration of your business.

As part of the registration certificate application for opening a dispensary in Arizona, you must consider the relevant information about your business. Among other details, this application must include :

  • General information about your dispensary’s legal name and address
  • Entity’s name
  • Contact information
  • Dispensary’s registration certificate ID

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Dispensary in Arizona

At the moment, aside from application or buyout costs, you may have to invest a lot of money in getting the right location for dispensary business in Arizona. Some predictions say the lottery will be organized for the lucky winners who want to get the most promising areas. However, getting a location that will be the most suitable may cost you much more than the application process, so you must consider the help of the investors to start a dispensary business in Arizona.

It would help if you also considered the rental costs for your business. An average dispensary requires many areas for everyday operations, which is why real estate units should be on your list of expenses. If you plan to buy a unit, it will cost you much more than renting, and in this case, you need to make sure that your business plan is entirely accurate and that you have the right funding for your business.

Additional costs for opening a cannabis dispensary in Arizona include the business opening expenses, which are necessary for everyday business operations. If you want to invest in the strategy about opening a dispensary, you can consult professional business advisers that will show you the right perspective of your business. In any case, you’ll need to do a detailed financial plan for starting a dispensary in Arizona.


When opening a dispensary in Arizona, the most important part of the process is going with the regulations when it comes to the application form for the state. The official Arizona Department of Health Services provides the public information about the application process for all the applicants who want to get a dispensary license in Arizona. 

It is always smart to consult an attorney about the regulations in a specific state. Not all the laws are the same across the US states, but most of them fall under the same category. Application requirements, data required, and specific information about your business should always be in hand when you apply for a dispensary license.

If you are not sure how to make your application complete, you can contact the right attorney who will help you create the right plan for your application process when you want to open a cannabis dispensary in Arizona.


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Our cannabis business attorneys are also business owners.  We can help you structure your business or help protect it from overly burdensome regulations.

As we speak, more than 33 states in the US have legalized some form of marijuana as a genuine and viable medical alternative.

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