In 2010 Arizona legalized medical marijuana. Since then, the program has grown exponentially. Every March a comprehensive report is produced about the state of medical marijuana production and usage by the citizens of Arizona. In the March 2019 report, it was found that there are now 193,672 qualified patients using medical marijuana card az and 802 register caregivers purchasing it for their patients. Additionally, three are now 5705 dispensaries that have been opened since the program’s initial start. That means 200,179 people who are legally allowed to have marijuana in their possession.
This growth in the medical marijuana industry has grown 42 percent since its 2010 start and the growth is only expected to accelerate in the coming years and be more than double by 2025. This number may be too low if the recent push for full legalization hits the ballet in the upcoming 200 elections. Though full legalization may come with next year’s election, the time it takes to develop systems of distributions and prepare to open full marijuana stores will take time. The numbers are already so high for the medical marijuana that the Arizona Department of Health Services no longer records actual dollar amounts; though the numbers already are topping $400 million dollars. Estimates on the amount being spent per person on medical marijuana range from around $3,300 a month to $4,800 with high-end dispensaries charge $5,000 a pound for their marijuana.
There are multiple reasons for the large numbers of patients being approved to purchase marijuana for medical purposes. One of the main reasons is the number of allowable conditions has increased since 2010. While there are only fourteen allowable conditions right now, additional bills are pushing to allow for more. Right now, the following conditions are authorized for medical marijuana use:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Severe and chronic pain
- Seizures (including those characteristics of epilepsy)
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms (Multiple Sclerosis included)
Arizona is also known as a terrific place for the elderly to retire to for the comfortable conditions and relatively low costs of living. They are also the ones most likely to be prescribed medical marijuana products because of terminal illness or advanced degenerative diseases. They have the ones with the medical conditions that allow for medical marijuana use and they are the ones voting for its medical use and more.
Another reason for the surge in medical marijuana within the State of Arizona is the number of physicians that are becoming certified to prescribe it as a treatment for multiple medical disorders. While there are still issues with the Federal Government’s control of marijuana and listing it as a dangerous substance, more physicians are researching the possible medical benefits from its use and are being come liberal with their prescriptions of it. More are entering the Arizona registry and more are allowing patients to use it as an alternative to more traditional medicines that have mixed effectiveness for most people and a multitude of often deadly side effects.
One of the biggest contributing factors to the growth of medical marijuana in Arizona is the numbers of former soldiers living with PTSD in the State of Arizona.
Marijuana has been known for producing calming effects and reduces pain and the higher number of veterans in the area means higher levels of pain and a greater need for chronic stress relief. PTSD can be considered as I a person is living a high-stress life all the time and all stimulus causes this high stress even doing such basic things like going to the grocery store to buy food. There are too many people and too many appearing suddenly which causes a person with PTSD to react. Finding the right strain of medical marijuana and actively using it in their day-to-day lives often gives veterans back their regular lives. It should also be noted, if extreme pain is not a factor, most are prescribed a portion of marijuana that does not have any THC, which is the active ingredient in the more hallucinogenic form of marijuana.
As the 2020 election approaches, all states, not just Arizona will be looking at marijuana and considering how it will shape the future of their citizens. It will be a deciding factor in a lot of states for who will be elected into office. It will also usher in more questions around the country as to when full legalization of recreational marijuana will take place and if it does, what that will mean for the medical marijuana industry as well as a for the country as a whole. Right now, Arizona is looking to place the recreational marijuana bill onto the 2020 election ballot.