Proponents of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) touted the fact that the law required the creation of a verification system – a sort of E-Verify for AMMA cardholders. The verification system is codified at Arizona Revised Statutes § 36-2807, and, as it originally appeared in Proposition 203, only dispensary agents and law enforcement had access to the system.
One of the changes the Arizona Legislature made to the AMMA in the 2011 session was to add employers to the universe of people able to access the online verification system (HB 2541). Late last month, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director Will Humble posted a letter to “All Employers,” advising them of the website where they could register “appropriate users” within the employer’s organization. ADHS will review the employers’ registration and grant online access for employers to use the verification website, https://azmmv.azdhs.gov/. Law enforcement now uses the site, and dispensaries someday may use it, whenever, if ever, the federal-state litigation is resolved and ADHS resumes taking dispensary applications,
Once registered, employers can input the 20-digit access code on any marijuana ID card presented by an employee to get verification, if it is a valid number, of the name of the cardholder to whom it was issued. Whenever, if ever, Arizona dispensaries start operating, the system also will report the quantity of medical marijuana dispensed to that cardholder in the last 60 days.
So employers who choose to verify an employee’s marijuana ID card can get access to the verification system to do so. The larger, more difficult question, however, is should employers seek to obtain this information. That is a subject for future posts.