Dispensary Zoning Case

December 13th, 2012 by Will Humble Leave a reply »

Last week a Superior Court judge ordered Maricopa County to process the zoning paperwork that has been submitted by the applicant for the Sun City CHAA.  The Maricopa County Attorney asked for a Stay of the decision while he appealed the case to the Court of Appeals.  This morning, the Superior Court judge denied that request for a Stay.  There’s still an appeal pathway for the Maricopa County Attorney if he asks for a Stay of the decision from the Appellate court while the pre-emption arguments are made at the Appellate level.  For our part- we did not take a position at today’s hearing… and we will simply continue to wait for the applicant in the Sun City CHAA to turn in its zoning paperwork, which would complete the application.  At that point we would process it the same as the other 98.

By the way- AZ now has 3 operating dispensaries, one in Glendale and one in Tucson.  Another dispensary in Cochise County opened today.  Because of the 3 operating dispensaries and provision in the voter approved language that only people that live more than 25 miles away from a dispensary are authorized to cultivate, more than 70% of Arizonans now live in areas where self-cultivation will no longer be permitted.  However, we’re grandfathering the cultivation rights for current card-holders until they renew their card or move into an area that’s within 25 miles of a dispensary.



  1. Michael Walz says:

    The 25 mile exclusion zone for growing was not “voter approved language.” You either voted for or against Prop 203. The language was prepared by the Marijuana Policy Project out of Wash. D.C. for the purpose of monopolizing production and sales of medical marijuana. This way, certain special people with the right business/political connections could become wealthy while patients suffer. Because of the lottery selection system many of these certain special people were not awarded licenses but the language behind their plan remains.The intent of the AMMA was to allow patients be able to use marijuana for medical purposes and many will not be able to afford dispensary prices.

    • Will Humble says:

      Michael Walz,
      You are incorrect. The full version of the law is provided to voters before the election. You can see the complete Proposition 203 language from the 2010 ballot on the Secretary of State’s website. http://azsos.gov/election/2010/Info/PubPamphlet/english/Prop203.htm

      • Michael Walz says:

        I beg to differ. I keep a copy within arm’s reach at all times. Section 2(G) of the AMMA declares””the purpose of this act is to protect patients with debilitating medical conditions …from arrest and prosecution…if such patients engage in the medical use of marijuana” Yet the Department is threatening just such arrests and prosecution for 70% of the population at this time and soon to be almost everyone. Because of the State’s failure to follow the law, as they expect patients, by not permitting dispensaries for 2 years after the election, thousands of patients have spent many thousands of dollars each to buy their own equipment to grow themselves.

  2. Randall Brent says:

    Can you post an answer to the question: Exactly how is the 25-mile radius measured?? In other words, is that an ‘as the crow flies’ straight line from a dispensary to a card-holder’s residence, or is it measured by street/driving miles??

    • Will Humble says:

      Randall Brent,
      I will still say it is measured “as the crow flies”..go to the webpage “Google Maps Distance Calculator,” and you will be able to put in your location, and drag a line to where you want to go; not using roads but rather “as the crow flies.” This will give you your exact distance.

  3. Bill Hayes says:

    Could you please clarify the “grandfather” portion of the post. Will someone such as myself be allowed to renew my card in june and still be authorized to cultivate or will it not be authorized because I live in el mirage?
    From the statement I read above certain people would be exempt for their next go around. Does this have anything to do with the time that was allotted by the judge for dispensaries to deal with the catch 22 of having a supply but not being able to grow yet? Please help me help you, we are getting lots of calls and emails about this.

    • Will Humble says:

      Bill Hayes,
      If you live within 25 miles of an operating dispensary, once you renew your card you will not be authorized to cultivate.

  4. Anonymous says:


    Since most of the patients are not CROWS is it possible to measure that in practical distance measurement?

    Perhaps to allow some patients who are not Crows and do not currently own Crows to fly them to and from the Dispensary to get their medication via public transportation or even automobiles which are not allowed to follow the same path as crows?

    We feel like this would be very fair to the many patients who have a 60 min drive to get from South Chandler to Glendale.

    Food for thought.

  5. Dan Coogan says:

    Hi Mr. Humble,

    Will there be any extension of time for the June 7, 2013 deadline for the dispensaries? The lawsuit by Tom Horne and Bill Montgomery has essentially stolen 40% of the time allotted to comply with the deadline regulations.

    I realize that 3 dispensaries have opened, and you will probably say that the lawsuit had no impact on the timeline, but I can assure you that it has has a serious negative impact on many dispensaries abilities to move forward, secure funding, meet city zoning timelines, etc…

    How is it that the AZ Attorney General and Maricopa County Attorney are not obstructing justice in this case? The justice for the will of the people of Arizona.

  6. Adam Benson says:

    What the Michael meant, was that we had to hold our nose while we voted for the AMMA because of things like the ’25 mile grow exclusion zones.’
    Many marijuana users voted against it because of this, or it would have passed with a much bigger margin. Of course many voted for it in spite of the MPP written content like the 25 mile nonsense. They worried that a negative vote would have been viewed as a ‘mandate’ against medical marijuana.

  7. Steven says:

    Mr. Humble;
    What will happen with the 27 dispensary licenses that were not awarded? I have heard the CHAA’s that were not awarded dispensaries will lose their chance and the 27 will be re-allocated to other CHAA’S. If this is true, when and how will the new licenses be issued?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have concerns as an applicant who applied and was granted multiple locations. It seems those who were apart of my applicant team have up and vanished with the funding I have provided. I would like to keep wishful thinking and hope they are proceeding to open the locations, but I am uncertain at this point as I have not been provided with any news of the completion of inspections. Infact I was suppose to be the dispensary agent for one it not multiple of the locations. I cannot get a return phone call or return email from the others in my dispensary group. I am shocked frankly, and have decided that they are possibly pulling a scam. Before I pursue legal repercussions who can I contact to find out the current state of my would be dispensaries? I’d like to find out if my application team is proceeding without my involvement. Also who can I contact to possible pull the plug if they are proceeding? Thank you for your time.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why do you keep scrubbing off my questions? Are you not responsible for answering these? If not, please take down your Director’s Blog since you are doing a disservice to the 33,000 plus patients that have paid millions to the AzDHS. You are a department head.

    Regarding your CME for Medical Marijuana education why are you promoting Marinol? Please let patients know Marinol is a poor substitute for cannabis since it is synthetic THC and contains no other cannibinoids. Plus a monthly supply of Marinol (with your health insurance card) is $1,600. So this is your solution to medical marijuana having doctors prescribe Marinol? Also you are promoting Sativex which is not even approved in the United States. This is your idea of solid medical information? You are becoming a joke Mr. Humble! Doesn’t matter what I say you’ll scrub this in a heartbeat anyways.

    • Will Humble says:

      Thank you for taking the time to review the CME. We appreciate the feedback. Physicians are required to discuss alternatives, risks and benefits of the treatments with their patients. We want physicians to be aware of all potential options, and be able to answer patient questions. You are correct, Sativex is not currently available in the US, but we want physicians to be aware of potential new drugs that may provide another alternative in the future. Marinol is currently the only FDA approved drug containing a form of THC, and physicians should discuss it as a potential option. While it may not work for everybody or may be cost prohibitive, it is an acceptable alternative to some patients.

  10. mr.dank says:

    im confused if i live within 25 of a dispensery and i am authorized to cultivate can i still cultivate until my card expires?

    • Will Humble says:

      Mr. Dank,
      Yes you can. But, when your card expires and you have to renew it; if you are living within 25miles of an operating dispensary you will not be able to cultivate.

  11. Dee says:

    Dear Mr. Humble, Will there be a dispensary opening soon anywhere near BHC or Kingman? Thank you for your time and info, a lot of us do appreciate what you do :-)

  12. Brad says:


    I have ongoing concerns regarding the lack of information that dispensaries are required to provide to patients in regards to it’s products and concentrates.

    For example, butane is quite often used as a solvent in making cannabis honey oil extract. However, no clear regulations are in place to verify product safety throughout the growing and extraction process.

    Like so—if I go to the grocery store I am presented with options with the food I buy. If I want to purchase fruits that have been grown naturally (using organic nutrients) and that haven’t been genetically altered—then I can reasonably do so.

    However, the same cannot be said for medical marijuana. The dispensary doesn’t even have to provide grow info to patients or offer a organically grown alternative.

    Therefore the 25-mile rule really isn’t in the best interest of the patients, is it? What about us patients that take our personal health seriously, and want to make sure that we can trust what we buy?

    Can you possibly elaborate on what steps can be taken to change this statute?

  13. Farrok says:

    What of equal protection under the Law a Right under the American Constitution? Why should some patients pay ridiculous prices for their medication and others pay practically nothing but growing costs? This is NOT equal protection under the Law but treating some better than others based in their location.

    I don’t believe the 25 mile requirement is Constitutional.
    What is your opinion of this Mr. Humble?

  14. Ricy Mardona says:

    Very useful blog. I like it.

  15. Edward Lewenetz says:

    Is there any help or provisions for people with brain injuries or the mentally ill?

Leave a Reply