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AZ sets early April date for social equity marijuana license drawing

State health officials plan to hold a drawing on April 8 for special licenses to sell marijuana.

The permits were set aside for people who bore an unequal weight of cannabis-prohibition laws.

The social equity program came from Prop. 207, which got the most votes in Arizona in the last general election.

Authors carved out 26 licenses to sell marijuana for people most hurt by the enforcement of laws against cannabis.

The state health department says more than 1,500 applications were filed. How many will make it into the social equity drawing is not yet clear.

To award the licenses estimated to be worth millions of dollars, officials say they’re turning to a New Jersey company’s computerized random system used by many state lotteries.

A Tempe-based accounting firm has been chosen to oversee the drawing.  

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.