Monday, April 16, 2012

Medical Marijuana Fuels Lottery Fever For Dispensary License

A birthday present from Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Director Will Humble awoke Arizoneout from its long winter's nap with a newfound commitment to keep those posts coming on a more regular basis.  Humble's blog post on April 11, 2012 − yes, that is the anniversary of Dinita James' birth − said his agency was dropping the flag on the race to apply for a dispensary license.

The demands of my law practice and other professional commitments seemed to call me away from blogging about the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) and its impact on workplaces in the state during the first quarter of 2012.  On starting my own personal new year, I had resolved to get back on the blog, with a goal of one or two posts a week.

So the email announcing Humble's blog post seemed to hit my inbox with karmic significance.  Full implementation of the AMMA may be in sight, barring another litigation explosion or a raid by the feds.  More Arizonans are bound to seek ID cards as Qualified Patients (QP) authorized to use medical cannabis if there are stores where they can go buy the stuff, or brownies and milkshakes containing it.

More QPs mean more issues about marijuana for Arizona employers to face.   More need for Arizoneout, then, too.

ADHS will start accepting dispensary applications on May 14, and the window to apply is only 11 days. 
ADHS will review the applications as they come in, and will issue registration certificates on August 7.  There's another certification and inspection required before dispensaries can open, but it appears likely that some dispensaries will be up and running long before the end of 2012.

One post Arizoneout did make during 1Q 2012 was to announce the clearing of the litigation logjam that had interrupted implementation of the AMMA.  The event that Humble called the flag drop was the filing of revised regulations with the Secretary of State.  Faced with a court order to strike several selection criteria ADHS had been planning to use in awarding dispensary licenses and to move forward to implement the law, Humble said that's "what we're doing."

If there are competing applicants for a dispensary license in a given territory, ADHS will determine the winner by random draw.  Megabonus for the winners!

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