/ Modified feb 1, 2022 3:40 p.m.

Arizona judge upholds rules for social equity marijuana licenses

The licenses were set aside for people from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.

Marijuana dispensary3 A dispensary employee weighing and portioning marijuana.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state’s rules for implementing a program to award 26 social equity business licenses that the state Department of Health Services will award under Arizona’s 2020 law legalizing recreational marijuana.

The ruling issued Tuesday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said the rules published by the department satisfy the broad mandates set under the voter-approved law put on the ballot through an initiative campaign.

The potentially lucrative social equity licenses will be issued under the law’s provision to set aside 26 licenses for “people from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of previous marijuana laws.”

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