Advocates come together to support Arizona’s cannabis initiative

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Supporters of recreational marijuana legalization in Arizona join forces for the cause

Two different groups trying to legalize recreational cannabis have been battling with different proposals due to differences of opinion. With the intention of taking recreational legalization to the 2020 ballot, the rival Arizona Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (AZC3) group has yielded and decided to endorse, along with a group of dispensary owners, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act. Besides that, the AZC3 will merge its board with the Marijuana Industry Trade Association of Arizona (MITA) – MITA was once a supporter of the Smart and Safe Arizona Act.

The AZC3 group has among its members, growers, manufacturers, lawyers and other members of the industry, who, for a long time, criticized this bill for granting excessive power to large dispensary owners. According to AZC3, they already control a large portion of the state’s medical marijuana market. “We would like to have seen some things changed in the initiative,” AZC3 board member Mason Cave told New Times, “but at this point, with that being the only path forward, the board agreed to lend its support to Smart and Safe.”

Cannabis has had a lot of movement in certain legislative channels. Just last week, the House approved a new bill to add warning labels to medical marijuana products as well as an extra tax to fund a research program to identify the link between tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and schizophrenia or violent behaviors. This initiative came from House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who claimed reading in a book that cannabis could cause violent psychosis. In more positive news, a group of parents of children with autism continues pushing for HB 2049, so their kids can use medical marijuana. It has brought great results, and the bill is now in the hands of the Committee of the Whole (COW).