Last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) began accepting applications for the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries. 15 applications were received on the first day, and dozens more are expected to come in by the end of the week.
The fact that Arizona is able to offer permits comes after a surprising turn of events last year after Gov. Jan Brewer banned this very application process. In 2010, voters approved the Medical Marijuana Act, but Brewer attempted to keep it from going into effect. According to MMJ Business Daily, “Brewer delayed the start of the licensing program for cannabis dispensaries last spring, citing her fear that state employees would be prosecuted by federal agents. She ordered the state to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government, asking for clarification on the issue.”
A judge later ruled that Brewer’s efforts were illegal and ordered the state to implement the act – without the many proposed restrictions. This week, dispensaries are finally able to apply to sell to the 35,000 MMJ patients. The act allows up to 126 dispensaries to operate in Arizona.
The information on application requirements can be found on the ADHS website. There is a $5000 application fee, and $1000 will be returned to those who are not accepted. Among other requirements, dispensaries must employ a physician as a medical director to help oversee operations and fingerprints must be turned in.
Applications will be reviewed for content in June to allow potential dispensaries to provide additional information if needed. Certificates are set to be awarded in early August, allowing patients to receive medication as early as September. The cut-off for applications is at 5PM this Friday, May 25.
weGrow offers plans for dispensaries and cultivation including business, operations, and financial plans. More information on all the plans we offer can be found at dispensarypermits.com.