Population, money shapes Arizona marijuana dispensary market | Subscriber | tucson.com – Arizona Daily Star

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Cameron Castillo, left, assists a patient with an order at Earth’s Healing Dispensary, 2075 E. Benson Hwy.

Rebecca Sasnett photos, Arizona Daily Star Edward Celaya

Drive up Interstate 10 and you’re bound to notice them: Billboards for marijuana dispensaries, most of them with addresses somewhere in the greater Phoenix area.

In fact, the number of active and open dispensaries in Maricopa County — 86, as of this month — outnumbers the amount of operating dispensaries in the rest of the state, combined. And, when compared to Pima County, Maricopa sports a 5-to-1 advantage. Pima County has 16 operating dispensaries.

“Those numbers roughly correspond to the populations of the Phoenix metro area and the Tucson metro area,” says Jon Udell, a cannabis attorney with Rose Law Group in Scottsdale and communications director for the Arizona branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.

In fact, there are nearly 4½ people in Maricopa for every 1 Pima County resident, giving the state’s most populous county just a slight edge on dispensaries per-capita.

And while population tells

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