The Arizona Department of Health Services (“AZDHS”) recently finalized the rules governing the Social Equity Program for adult-use marijuana establishment licenses. The highly anticipated Social Equity Program rules were adopted effective as of June 1, 2021, and may be found online here.
Established by Proposition 207, the Social Equity Program is designed to make adult-use marijuana establishment licenses available to communities and individuals who have been adversely impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws. To advance that goal, the recently adopted rules set forth specific eligibility criteria for those seeking to apply for an adult-use establishment license under the Social Equity Program. Among other requirements, the applicant must have resided, for at least three of the last five years, in a community identified by AZDHS as having been disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws. AZDHS has now published a list of the qualifying zip codes, which may be found online here.
Eligible applicants must also have a specified amount of ownership and control over the proposed establishment and complete an educational training course provided by AZDHS, as well as meet various additional criteria.
For those that are eligible to apply, there are extremely limited opportunities for licensing. Under Proposition 207, only twenty-six Social Equity licenses are available to be allocated, but AZDHS is anticipating between 3,000 and 5,000 applications!
If you have any questions about your eligibility or wish to apply, please contact Lindsay C. Schube at (602) 256-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The attorneys at Gammage & Burnham look forward to assisting interested applicants in navigating the process to apply for adult-use licenses and participating in the Social Equity Program.