Lawsuit could cloud 'social equity' dispensary program's future in Arizona – Arizona Daily Star   Recently updated !


From left to right:  Zsa Zsa Simone Brown, Shakirah Martinez, Celestial Rodriguez and Blake Humphrey make up the members of Acre 41, a group of Black, professional, cannabis-industry entrepreneurs who are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Arizona Department of Health Services over its current “social equity” dispensary ownership rules.

The state of Arizona will be selecting the recipients of 26 special “social equity” dispensary licenses in early 2022.

Edward Celaya

The state’s plan to issue 26 “social equity” marijuana dispensary licenses early next year could be delayed after a lawsuit aimed at preventing established cannabis companies from acquiring the licenses was filed.

The complaint, filed last week in Maricopa County Superior Court, claims the requirements laid out in Proposition 207, which legalized adult-use marijuana in-state, are being violated by the state health department’s current rules governing who can qualify for the state-issued licenses, which will be financially valuable to the holders.

If the suit proceeds, it could delay the scheduled timetable of deadlines rapidly approaching for potential social equity license applicants.

If successful, the suit would have the Arizona Department of Health Services, the agency in charge of regulating the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industries, scrap its rules and establish a new set governing the social equity program.

“The lawsuit demands compliance with the intent of Proposition 207,” a press release put out by the plaintiff’s said. “As it stands

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