Arizona’s Adult-Use Referendum
By Josh Adams, Senior Industry Analyst, New Frontier Data
In November, voters in four states (Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota) will go to the polls to vote on the legalization of adult-use cannabis (while Mississippians consider a medical-use program).
Of those, Arizona represents the second-largest cannabis market (after New Jersey’s). Recent polling suggests that a majority (51%) of Arizonans support the initiative. Proposition 207 (Smart and Safe Arizona Act) would allow for sale and possession by adults aged 21 and older. Additionally, Prop 207 would let individuals convicted of possessing an ounce or less or growing six or fewer plants at home to petition for their conviction’s expungement. In 2016, an adult-use ballot measure was barely defeated, by 51% opposed. Yet, medical use was legalized in 2010, and the state has a strong medical cannabis market.
New Frontier Data estimates that, with a population of roughly 7.4 million, Arizona has nearly 1.2 million cannabis consumers in total (i.e., legal or illicit). Should Prop 207 pass, Arizona’s legal adult-use market is projected to generate $341 million in revenue in its first year, and expand by 2025 to generate over $1 billion in revenue. In 2019, Arizona’s medical market rang up $768 million in sales.
Passage of Prop 207 would significantly expand fully legal markets across the western states, creating a land bridge from Washington, through Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. Given Arizona’s history as a major smuggling route through which illicit cannabis has arrived from Mexico, a legal program could further disrupt illicit demand.
New Frontier Data is closely tracking the respective state ballot measures, with updated projections for economic impacts and market opportunities. For more information about Arizona’s decision, consult the state fact sheet or visit www.newfrontierdata.com/2020 for full election coverage.