Arizona Medical Marijuana Sales Decline as Recreational Cannabis Gains Traction
Arizona legalized recreational cannabis in 2020, and sales began in January 2021. Since the adult-use market launched, the state’s medical marijuana program has seen a significant decline. According to the Arizona Mirror, the number of qualifying patients in the state dropped from 295,000 at the end of 2020 to approximately 158,154 in the latest report from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The start of the decline of the medical marijuana market seemed to be triggered when Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation creating an electronic card system for patients and extending the life of an MMJ card to two years. But as many patients choose recreational cannabis products for relief, they opt to stay out of the certification and qualifying procedures for medical cards, causing many certification businesses to struggle to keep up with the market shift.
California Legislation for Cannabis Use Protection for Workers and MMJ for Animals Head to Governor
Several cannabis bills have made their way through California’s legislature in recent weeks. Two of those bills are now headed to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk to await his signature. One of the pieces of legislation is to safeguard workers who use cannabis while off duty, and advocates feel this protection is long overdue. The other piece of legislation allows veterinarians to recommend medical cannabis for animals. The employment protection bill would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and potential employees because of personal cannabis use while off duty. It would also eliminate most THC testing for jobs, except for federal employees or construction workers.
Smoking Cannabis is Now More Popular than Smoking Cigarettes
According to a recent Gallup poll, more people in the United States are smoking marijuana than cigarettes. In the last several decades, cigarette smoking has been on a steady decline. According to the poll results, only 11 percent of Americans said they smoke cigarettes. The survey found that 16 percent of Americans said they smoke cannabis, with 48 percent of respondents saying that they had tried it at some point. Attitudes regarding both cannabis and cigarettes have also seen a dramatic shift. In a poll from July of this year, 53 percent of those surveyed said they thought cannabis had positive effects on those who use it. A survey on smoking in 2019 showed that 83 percent of Americans thought cigarettes were “very harmful”.