Arizona bill aims to expand shrinking medical marijuana market

A bill making its way through the Arizona state legislature aims to significantly cut the price of medical marijuana cards, at a time when MMJ sales and patient registration have fallen dramatically.

SB 1466, which passed the state Senate in March, would lower the price of MMJ cards from $150 to $50 for the general public, according to Phoenix New Times.

Veterans would receive cards for free, the newspaper reported.

The bill also would expand the list of qualifying conditions to include autism spectrum disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ninety-four percent of existing MMJ card holders listed chronic pain as a qualifying health condition, according to the latest state data.

The legislative proposal comes amid a deep slide in MMJ sales and the number of qualified patients.

As of February, the latest month for which statistics are available, Arizona MMJ sales fell to $28.2 million, the lowest monthly total since Arizona launched adult-use retail in January 2021, according to the Arizona Department of Revenue.

Adult-use sales in February accounted for 73.1% of the $105.2 million in total marijuana sales.

Meanwhile, the number of qualifying medical marijuana patients in Arizona through April fell to 127,266, a drop of nearly 85,000 patients since April 2022.

The total number of medical patients has decreased nearly 57% from 295,295 in December 2020, the last month before recreational retail sales began.

Chris Casacchia can be reached at