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Cannabis Sales Soar in Arizona to $1.6 Billion in 2021



“We don’t see SWAT teams busting in the doors of dispensaries”

Sales of marijuana in Arizona soared to $1.6 billion in 2021, just one year after recreational pot was legalized in the state, making Arizona second only to California for retail sales that year, according to an industry research group.

But while retail sales of cannabis are strong, the crop is far from being added to the traditional “5 C’s” of Arizona’s economy, experts say, as production still trails far behind other states.

They say cannabis could become a strong part of the state’s economy in the next few years, but the industry will first have to overcome barriers to growth nationwide that include limited trade and restrictions on financing for a crop that is still illegal on the federal level.

“We don’t see SWAT teams busting in the doors of dispensaries,” said Aaron Smith, CEO of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “But we do have problems with not being able to take tax deductions like a normal industry, or being able to have interstate commerce, which really creates a barrier to entry for a lot of folks.”

But for now, at least, the industry appears to be growing in Arizona.

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