Recreational marijuana sales in Arizona bring new jobs - and long lines

A day after Arizona dispensaries began selling recreational marijuana, the long lines haven't slowed -- but this could be a benefit to thousands in the state that are unemployed.

Territory Dispensary was one of more than 80 businesses to receive a license Friday from the Department of Health Services to legally sell recreational marijuana.

LIST: Businesses in Arizona approved to sell recreational marijuana

Sure enough, the demand was there.

FOX 10 asked Robert Smith, general manager for Territory, if there's a concern their product will run out.

"I’d be foolish to say it wasn’t a concern but again, we were well prepared," Smith said.

Despite the preparedness, the long lines have been a pain for some medical marijuana users.

"This line was around the building," laughed Mesa resident Kenny Mac. "I’m not waiting 3 hours."

Mac says the demand has been frustrating for medical marijuana card holders across the state.

"You got some of these old folks that had to come in yesterday and wait 3 hours in line, you know?" Mac said.

The lines may not go away this week, either.

"It caught a lot of the community, a lot of the recreational customers off guard, so as news gets out that we’re now available to take those sales, we may continue to get more lines as the days go on," said Robert Smith.

The silver lining? The demand is good news for a historic job crisis in Arizona. 

As the Department of Economic Security continues to struggle to keep up with the onslaught of unemployment claims, the news of recreational marijuana sales this week could mean many jobs are on the way.

"It’s going to create ... good jobs in a fast paced growing industry here in Arizona," Smith said. At Territory alone, they have more than 60 job openings available.

Another business told FOX they’ve posted 120 jobs this week - all because of recreational marijuana sales.

"Everybody would have to staff up accordingly, because you need more people at any given hour of the day, any given day of the week than you normally would," Smith said.


AZDH approves 86 licenses for recreational marijuana sales

AZDHS says it has received 79 applications since the application period began on Wednesday. Six of those applications are under review.