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Lines form around the block for recreational marijuana in Southern Arizona

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TUCSON (KVOA) - It's been a little over 24 hours since recreational marijuana hit the market for the first time in Arizona. On opening day, Tucsonans saw long lines and big crowds and Saturday, that didn't change.

The wait is over and for some Tucsonans like Patty Austin, today's trip to the store was a family affair.

"Finally," Austin said. "It's about time. I'm with my niece and my daughters."

Austin and her family waited in line for more than three hours to purchase recreational marijuana. Hundreds of people joined her and braved the long lines. Seth Denton said he didn't mind the long wait.

"It's worth every minute of wishing for marijuana to be legal," Denton said. "I think all of these taxes are going to be great for our schools, our roads, funding will be great."

As cannabis is purchased off the shelves, Steve White, the CEO of Harvest Dispensaries, said the demand has been through the roof.

"If you imagine being the first one and the only one in Tucson and doing that during a pandemic," White said. "Your having to be mindful, it is quite a challenge."

With the increase in demand, traffic and congestion along the residential neighborhoods by the store has been a problem. Neighbors tell News 4 Tucson it's only been two days and they are already tired of the traffic. White said, this is the case for any new business.

"When an In-N-Out burger opens up you see crazy lines and a Raising Canes, too. It doesn't mean the business it somehow untoward. It just hasn't normalized yet," White said.

As the lines continue to grow and recreational marijuana leaves out the front door, Patty said the only wait she wants now is the one in line.

"My whole life I've been waiting, my whole life I've been in the closet, now I can come on out," Austin said.

Austin Walker

Austin is a Reporter at KVOA News 4 Tucson. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in May of 2020.

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