With a booming medical-marijuana program and business-friendly regulations for dispensaries and farms, Arizona is a can’t-miss market for large cannabis companies that are growing...

With a booming medical-marijuana program and business-friendly regulations for dispensaries and farms, Arizona is a can’t-miss market for large cannabis companies that are growing across the 33 states with legalized medical or recreational use.

Arizona allows medical marijuana use with the recommendation of a doctor, and voters narrowly rejected recreational use in 2016.

Arizona’s 183,000 qualified patients not only increased by 21 percent in the last year, but the state’s requirement that marijuana farms be vertically integrated with a retail dispensary make it a lucrative market.

Some states, such as California, allow vertical integration, but don’t require it. Other states, such as Washington, prohibit the practice.

National companies also are rushing to set up shop in Arizona and other markets that appear likely to legalize adult-use or recreational marijuana in 2020.

Although many of the state’s 130 licensed dispensaries continue to operate independently, publicly traded companies with retail stores and farms in multiple states are increasing their market share here.

Dozens of publicly traded cannabis companies have sprouted around the United States and Canada with increased legalization of the drug. The companies can be small startups looking to expand and large multistate operators. [Read more at AZ Central]

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