Dispensaries in AZ this Summer?

January 25th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Right now, it looks like a qualified “yes”.  As you know from earlier blog posts a the judge has ruled in a state case that had challenged our dispensary applicant selection criteria.  We’ve been reviewing our options- and decided yesterday not to appeal  the case- which puts us back on track to licensing dispensaries under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.  

Our teams are busy dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s right now on an express rule package that would remove the dispensary selection criteria that was struck down last week (AZ residency, child support, previous bankruptcies etc.) and to set new dates to accept dispensary applications.  Our goal is to accept applications this April.  We’d then have 45 days to review and award dispensary licenses- so we could potentially have awarded up to 125 dispensary licenses by mid-June. If someone is pretty much ready to go at that point, we could see medical marijuana dispensaries operating in July or August.  

It’s been awhile since we talked about dispensaries and the certificate process.  The place to start your refresher course is by reading our 53 Frequently Asked Questions summary sheet and our dispensary webpage.  In the meantime, there are several things that won’t change and are still outlined in rule.  Folks will need to have a business plan, security information, staff information, medical director and a plan to distribute information to patients, plus a letter from the locality saying the address is in compliance with local zoning rules. So while we’re busy tying up loose ends with the rules and the FAQs, I imagine prospective dispensary owners will be busy too. 

One of the key provisions we settled on was to use zones to spread the dispensaries throughout the state.  There were a few reasons for this – one to keep them from clustering in urban areas, another was to make sure that qualifying patients in the more rural areas of the state had access to a dispensary.  Since we started issuing cards to qualifying patients and designated caregivers, we’ve been mapping where they live by zone.  That information is available in a monthly report on our website.



  1. Charlie says:

    BOYCOTT Dispensaries! Get your Medical Marijuana Card and Grow it yourself, under the law! We don’t need them in out state, the FED’s are gonna be knockin at thier doors before you know it. Keep AZ Dispensary FREE and GROW your MEDS within the LAW!

  2. jetdoc1 says:

    They’ll NEVER get rid of the 25 mile rule. We’d be A LOT better off if they did ax that thing. The rules were setup to make Dispensary owners get even richer. If we’re able to cultivate ourselves we assure the prices stay down and ends up assuring that ALL patients will be able to have access to AFFORDABLE SAFE medication.

  3. marc schwabinger says:

    repeal the 25 mile law; we dont want a dispensary monopoly and high priced medicine that we can grow ourselves

  4. BIll says:

    There will be a problem with the 25 mile rule, and several other little things I have been trying to casually point out. See “single secure entrance” 😉 There are problems that need to be addressed, I say open back up for another public comment, it worked great the first time.

    This is truly a law by the people and for the people, considering recent judicial decisions I would STRONGLY suggest another public comment session and rules revision process or the second the first permit is handed out by DHS you can expect enormous legal action.

    look at first year crime stats, look at medical stats, make an informed decision based on OUR states economic needs.

    Will, a personal plea from me to you, person to person, not business operator to business operator which we agree we both are.
    Institute another public session, opinions have changed drastically in this last year regarding medical marijuana, let the people have their turn again just like you did last time.

    As a potential dispensary operator I would rather have a stable, constructive mmj system that we can be proud of. Not one that will open the door for further litigation against yourself and others from various agencies.

    You need to know these cases are being drafted as I type, and not by us. Do the right thing. Make the changes that need to be made and open this remarkable opportunity to everyone in Arizona that has the actual ability (not just financially) and knowledge to run a medical cannabis dispensary and cultivation program correctly.

    Drop the $150K
    Drop the “single secure entrance”

    Use common sense and make the state, DHS, and the People of Arizona proud.

    Oh yeah, we could use the economy boost, let us not forget the $1,000,000,000 a year industry we are talking about here.

    Bill Hayes

  5. rmmy100 says:

    now mr humle according to the rule patient growers have 1 year to transition once a chaa is officially approved, correct?

  6. Corey Miller says:

    The AZ law was not set up for any one person to make a ton of money of of the back of sick patients. The dispensaries will offer to the patients who are in pain to have safe access so people llike (name removed by editor) and other will not be their only recourse to medicine. Read the law, it states that programs and others things will be financially atributted to the funds earned in the dispensdary, so beside salaries everything must be given away! I will make sure that happens…

    • Mike Morello says:

      >>so beside salaries everything must be given away!<<

      Think about it… They can simply make their salaries as high as they want as to ensure that NOTHING is given away…

  7. Rain Baker says:

    Yes, absolutely, we need to get rid of the 25 mile rule.
    Did we actually vote yes to that? Wow, WE WERE DESPERATE HUH?! : )

  8. bobby McCain says:

    government and religion need to back off – it your choice only

  9. Adrian Saenz says:

    I couldn’t agree more; however, dispensaries & caregivers will also create jobs & put $ back into the economy! It should be more like 25 km.

  10. Mike A says:

    Mr. Humble, just a suggestion for the dispensary applications… Applicants should be required to submit updated city letters AND landlord approval for useable locations.( within 60 days). I have noticed a few locations that had approval 8 months ago, and now have buildings that have been demolished and rebuilt w/ new businesses currently operating in them. Some of these locations now have ZERO chance of becoming a dispensary or cultivation facility even if approved by AZDHS. We’ve all worked too hard on finding facilities to be edged out by bogus locations that would never become a dispensary.

  11. BIll says:

    oh yeah, one more thing, avoid lots of FED hassle and make it required for all dispensaries to be at least 1000 feet from any public parks and schools.

    reason being should be obvious from what is happening in states around us…

    “The aggressive and wide-ranging action targets commercial operations that are growing and supplying large quantities of marijuana, and dispensaries and stores located near schools and parks, prosecutors said.”

    learn from others mistakes so we don’t have to learn from our own 😉

  12. Mr Humble,
    I suggest that all applicants for a medical marijuana card and their caregivers not have a conviction for breaking any of our laws.

  13. bobo says:

    They need to not open despensaries unless they grandfather in the growers despensaries not alowed to cultivate there owne make them have to buy from local growers within 25 miles to sell to patients locking out monoplys and alowong more then just one group to be apart of this and it can still be controled

  14. Christian Lepanto says:

    There should be a 25 mile buffer zone of no dispensaries within the US Border to prevent a border crossover to commit a crime.
    The tracking of all the serial numbers of all the cash that enters the medical marijuana center or MMC, then find where the money has been.
    All employees of MMC to be tested for drugs other then marijuana.
    All cannabis that goes to patients to be tested to fingerprint the genetics to see if they stray out into the illegal.
    That no one face punitive measures of losing a state job or state certifications for having legal access to medicine.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I think Bill had a really good point. Each prospective state needs to look at other states and see how they are doing things. See what works and what doesn’t, and learn from it. With the massive reluctance shown by the federal government, it’s in the best interest of all involved to adapt and follow the rules. That way nobody can question intentions and practices

  16. BIll says:

    could someone please address this for all interested parties involved…

    DI52: I did not receive a registration certificate for a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in the Payson CHAA. Can I see the business plan for the applicant that was awarded a registration certificate in the Payson CHAA?
    The Department cannot provide you with the business plan submitted by an applicant. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, A.R.S. § 36-2810 (A.), states that information received and records kept by the Department for the purposes of administering the Act, including “applications or renewals, their contents and supporting information submitted by or on behalf of nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries,” are confidential.

    this, to many, is suggesting there is already a dispensary allocated for that area. If not here please comment on this and clear the air. Transparency;)

    Also, we have been contacted by several groups/individuals concerned about the $150,000 capitol requirement that is “not a requirement”. Currently the FAQ section on AZDHS site is misleading.

    Also the question has been asked again, why the $150,000 capitol requirement when other states dispensary owners can show it doesn’t accurately reflect start up costs, as we ourselves have learned.

    At one time (name removed by editor) and myself were very vocal about there being some kind of requirement for capitol, but after seeing how badly Arizona wants this program and experiencing first hand the generousness of those that want medicinal cannabis in this state I will go on record right now as stating the $150,000 is very inaccurate. Inflated by at least $100,000 depending on the current layout of the building and need for any commercial build outs. The actual equipment to cultivate is minimal depending on methods.

    Please remove the $150 criteria completely.

    Official correspondence to follow regarding this matter


    • Will Humble says:

      The Frequently Asked Questions are designed to address as many questions as possible. DI 52 is an example that someone may ask throughout the process and is important for all to know that their business plans will be kept confidential, even after the awarding of certificates. As far as the $150,000 capital, DI 19 explains that the capital would be a factor if there are numerous applications for a dispensary in a particular CHAA.

  17. Mark says:

    The medical marijuana in California is ungodly expensive $25.00 – $50.00 gram. It will probably be that expensive here also. Just to prepare you all… I tried growing it out doors when I lived in California. Theft was a BIG problem. It didn’t end up working for that reason. Growing indoors required too much equipment. To keep the price down here we need a paients non-profit co-op. From someone who’s been there and done that in California. I know…

  18. Mark says:

    The big money owners of the dispensaries in California are getting rich off the patients there. Will that same thing happen here also Mr. Humble? Will you moderate the price to the patients and set reasonable profit limits for them? I doubt it… Here we go again, more profitting off the sick and disabled. Hmm…

  19. Sunshine says:

    Yes for MM.


  20. Rebecca says:

    I am very concerned about the 25mile rule restricting those who want to grow their own medicine. Why not do as CA did and allow those who want to, to grow. Many people will not want to grow and they will be no competion for the dispensaries. That way if the feds do raid the dispensaries we can still get our meds. It is just a way for the Feds to control and disrupt our citizen elected laws. I think the best solution is Compassion clubs that allow those who can’t or don’t want to grow can get meds at a reasonable price and those who do want to grow can . That way if the growers come up with extra meds they can donate it to the compassion clubs and help keep down the price. They do this in either Vermont or RI and it seems to work really well!.

  21. Tom Green says:

    Mr. Humble please TAX all Medical Marijuana or let the city it’s in an option to vote to TAX it.


    • Kimberly Haslett says:

      Please rethink your desire to tax medical cannabis. IT IS MEDICINE, and no taxes are paid on any other medicines we receive. If we allow cannabis to be taxed it does two things:
      1. creates the thought by our opposition that if it truly was a medicine it would not be taxed.
      2. opens the door to cash strapped states that figure if they can tax one medicine, why not tax them all.
      Neither of these options are beneficial to cannabis patients or any patient for that matter. If they legalize cannabis then yes tax it, but DO NOT TAX our medicine, or we could be opening Pandora’s box.

  22. Mr B From Az says:

    My last grow cost me $4 in nutrients, Water and power for my 600w light. It cost next to NOTHING to grow my meds. Now some scumbag wants to charge me $30 a gram? And this is some how good for me?

    Wake up Arizona. Most folks that are disabled have LOW incomes. we get victimized enough…

    Stop the greedy profiteering off the backs of the disabled.

    • franklin orvis says:

      hey you just wondering how would a new lic. holder of the medical marijuana get info on what is needed and how to grow my medican email address franklinorvis61@yahoo.com

    • rmmy100 says:

      thats right, the only problem with law is this 25 mile rule written by good friends but not worth the effort of putting in this unconstitutional provision in the AMMA. it was written by lawyers with specific interest; in dispensing MMJ. with the help of mr humble, and thank you to (name removed by editor) for exposng this provision and those behind it.
      it’s a unnecessary reach written by the framers to help dispenseries control 90% of the cultivation in arizona and it’s not fair. california and colorado like most other MMJ states have pretty much resolved the issue in simular provisions of the laws in their state. patient cultivation has proven to be a valuable adjunct to the dispensary model. with the use of licensed vendors, THATS PATIENTS its worth the effort to have it removed from the AMMA. sorry folks but you will see it on the ballot in 2012 vote no against the 25 mile rule peace.

  23. KBZ says:

    I can’t afford to buy $20 a gram when my doctor recommened 3 a day. Don’t let the rich get richer while the middle class can’t afford medicine! The 25 mile rule makes sense in states like Michigan but not here!

  24. Juan Jose Casares says:

    I think the dispensaries are a good idea. Keeps folks honest about what they are allowed to grow and where.

  25. Mike says:

    Mr. Humble Will the 150,000 dollar rule be eliminated from the rules before the next lawsuit comes from the guys filing all these lawsuits. Are we still on tract for rules by end of feb. Really would appreciate some clairity before we all spend bunch money again. Please eliminate all rules that do NOT abide by prop 203 law so these lawsuits will stop and quit costing everyone lots money effecting some of us from maintaining needed money to start helping patients. Thanks for your time and thoughts.

  26. Diana says:

    Will self growers be grandfathered in, if they started before dispenseries were available? I believe that’s consistent with other types of laws.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This law was funded by dispensary operators from other states, and is framed only to open the Arizona market to new dispensaries. All other purposes of this law are corollary.

    Why should there be separate, stand alone businesses called dispensaries to distribute a newly approved medication? Do we do this every time a drug is approved by the FDA? No. It makes absolutely no sense to distribute marijuana via dispensaries as opposed to pharmacies.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The 25 mile rule has a monopolistic distribution model for dispensary operators in mind, and this law was passed for the sole purpose of enriching dispensary operators via the fallacy of a “non profit”.

  29. Danke Shoen says:

    FYI for the people who talked about the tax income to the state from Dispensaries.

    I have numerous friends who run Dispensaries in California and their average report sales on $1 out of every $500. Literally!

    The bottom line is, the only thing the Dispensary model does is keep the medication public and in the eyes of every official and enforcement agency.

    If they do away with Dispensaries or at least the 25 mile rule low income patients (majority) can grow a couple of plants in their closet and no one ever knows about it. Blows my mind that this would not be more appealing to those who oppose Medical Marijuana.

    Lets not forget. There have been thousands and thousands of pounds of Medical Marijuana grown in this state for the past 30yrs. Dispensaries would merely take advantage of those who don’t know better.


  30. Glen says:

    I hear a lot of complaining abouy the 25 mile rule. If you had joined or gone to a (name removed by editor) meeting you could have added your voice in the making of prop 203 People like myself don’t want to grow and want to know what we are getting and that it has been tested, then there are people well versed at growing it themselves. My choice it for everyone interested in cannabis start supporting your local (name removed by editor) and let’s work to legalize it for all adults

  31. rich says:

    they should axe the 25 mile rule! its not like everyone is going to grow, but i guess their being greedy. and they forget its about medicine and not about the money, but anyway they should atleast let rural areas to grow cause next thing u know they will make the law to where no one will grow , lets work together to stop the madness .

  32. Jiva says:

    Grandfather in growers who were authorized cultivators prior to dispensaries opening Please. Some of us live in rural areas with no public transportation for wheelchairs. We can grow our own and don’t need a caregiver. 25 mile rule will shut out home bound patients like me who can’t drive to the dispensary or require us to pay over priced fees for some shaddy caregivers gas money and time.

  33. Bailey says:

    curious does anyone know if there will b a transition period for growers who are in the middle of the operation while dispensaries are being opened?

    • Will Humble says:

      Yes. Your card will still be valid (you can grow) until you renew your card. Then we won’t give an authorized to grow card to you if you live within 25 miles of an operating dispensary.

  34. greg says:

    I was on morphine and oxy codone for 2 years and quit cold turkey.Medical mj has been my only pain meds I take if the 25 mile law goes threw I cannot aford the prices at desparies and will have to go back on drugs that screw you up mentaly and do nothing to fix the problem.so this 25 mile law realy sucks

  35. Anon says:

    the 25 mile rule is going to completely ruin the whole medical marijuana program for a lot of patients in AZ. First of all, I cannot afford to get my medication from a dispensary. Second of all, if I lived exactly 25 miles from a dispensary (which I do), this means I have to drive 50 miles back and forth every time need to get more medicine I already can’t afford, let alone the patients who don’t even have the privilege of leaving their home to pursue medicine? We have debilitating medical conditions and our quality of life has already been dampered enough. This rule is wrong and just as unconstitutional as our federal marijuana laws, it will not stay, if so we choose.

  36. Alex Romero says:

    Why so much complaining ?? Didn’t you vote it in ???
    We are working on extending the 25 mile rule to 50 miles.

  37. Legalize Marijuana says:

    I disagree with this 25 mile law as it will make it harder on me to get my medical marijuana. I have a hard time getting around and this rule has made it even harder. This sucks. Oh well, life goes on!

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