Below is a complimentary excerpt from an institutional research note written by our Cannabis analysts Howard Penney and Daniel BiolsiIf you are an institutional investor interested in accessing our research email

Cannabis Insights | Legalization In AZ & Kamala Harris' Stance On Cannabis - 8 12 2020 7 58 55 AM

In Arizona, recreational marijuana will officially be on the November ballot 

Yesterday, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs certified the adult-use legalization initiative petition and announced that recreational marijuana would almost certainly be on the state ballot on November 3rd. The Smart and Safe Arizona initiative submitted over 400,000 signatures with just 238,000 needed for the ballot. The Secretary of State’s Office invalidated approximately 38.6% of the signatures, but the campaign still exceeded the minimum, valid signatures needed. This announcement comes soon after a judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the petition’s credibility.

Legalization was narrowly beat on the 2016 ballot in Arizona – just over 51% of voters rejected the move. In a June 2020 survey conducted by polling firm Highground Inc., over two-thirds of Arizona voters were supportive of The Smart and Safe Arizona Act (“act”) to legalize adult-use. (Conducted between 5/18 – 5/22, n=400).

The act proposes a limited licensing structure that benefits existing medical marijuana license holders – they would be given the right of first application for the limited recreational licenses. The act stipulates that on or before April 5, 2021, medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to sell recreational marijuana until the state issues licenses for recreational dispensaries, and it says that existing medical marijuana dispensaries could obtain a recreational marijuana dispensary license and potentially operate in the same location.

Harvest Health (HRVSF) has 14 operational retail locations and 4 operational cultivation licenses in Arizona.

Curaleaf (CURLF) has 9 operational retail locations and 2 operational cultivation licenses in Arizona.

Below is an estimated fiscal analysis of adult-use legalization in Arizona, prepared by the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee, that projects possible adult-use sales of $1.04 billion by 2023.

Cannabis Insights | Legalization In AZ & Kamala Harris' Stance On Cannabis - 08.12.20  5

Biden picks Kamala Harris for VP – Where does she stand on legalization?

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. When Harris was running for president, she made federal legalization a key part of her platform.

In May 2018, Harris officially came out in support of federal legalization by backing Senator Cory Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act.

In July 2019, Harris sponsored a marijuana descheduling bill, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which had social equity provisions.

In September 2019, Harris released a criminal justice reform plan, saying, “it is past time to end the failed war on drugs, and it begins with legalizing marijuana.”

However, Harris has received criticism on her history as a prosecutor, most notably from former presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) in an August Democratic debate:  “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.”

Harris’s vocal support of legalization goes against Biden’s known reluctance on federal legalization. If the Biden/Harris ticket wins this November, Biden will be entering office at 78 – it seems almost certain that he would be a one-term president. It is within reason to think that Harris will be a strong contender for the Democratic presidential nomination come 2024. With Harris on the ticket and the possibility of a blue wave come November, the prospects for federal legalization have brightened.

Cannabis Insights | Legalization In AZ & Kamala Harris' Stance On Cannabis - 08.12.20  6

Cannabis Insights | Legalization In AZ & Kamala Harris' Stance On Cannabis - 08.12.20  7