How Recreational Legalization Is Affecting Medical Marijuana Patients in Arizona – Phoenix New Times


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Arizona celebrated its first month of recreational marijuana sales yesterday, and there’s much to cheer. More than 100 medical marijuana dispensaries have been cleared to sell recreational marijuana to customers 21 years and older, and business is booming. Drive past a Valley dispensary in the middle of the day, and there’s a decent chance you’ll still find a line outside the door.

For longtime marijuana shoppers in Arizona — MMJ patients, that is — there’s been less to celebrate. Ironically, many of them feel that legalization has made marijuana less accessible for them.

One gripe: those lines.

“I should not see young, able-bodied folks coming in and out of a dispensary while there are folks in wheelchairs and using walkers waiting in line,” says James Carter, a medical marijuana patient in Mesa.

Some dispensaries, still adjusting to balancing medical and rec sales, have begun implementing new policies that aim to prioritize patients. Many Harvest locations have a special window for medical patients.

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