Many of the comments that we received at the public hearings were about how we’ll evaluate and award the dispensary licenses. Many of the questions were about zoning, so here’s a brief summary of how the zoning part will work:
The final rules outline a 2-step process whereby applicants enter into a competitive screening in each Community Health Analysis Area (CHAA) for a dispensary Registration Certificate, followed by a build out and inspection before receiving an Operating License from ADHS. Each dispensary applicant will be required to sign an attestation that the address that they are applying under is in accordance with local zoning (note that this doesn’t mean that they need to establish whether they have a special or conditional use permit). Without that attestation that they are in accord with local zoning, they don’t qualify for further consideration for the initial Registration Certificate.
If there’s more than one qualified applicant per CHAA, we will screen the applicants through a series of residency and financial history criteria. If there are “ties” at the end of the screening criteria between 2 or more applicants, we will randomly select the successful applicant. At that point, one applicant per CHAA will have a Registration Certificate. The Registration Certificate holder is authorized to proceed with their “build out” (but not dispense). Prior to operating, certificate holders will need to show full documentation that they’re in accord with local zoning including evidence of their conditional or special use permit and their certificate of occupancy (if these are required). Once these and many administrative and security criteria are satisfied they will get their Operating License from the ADHS
Once an applicant has been awarded a Registration Certificate, they’re allowed to move their dispensary inside their CHAA (subject to local zoning approval, Department approval, and paying our $2,500 fee). The Registration Certificate holder is also allowed to move their dispensary location (inside the CHAA) after they receive their Operating License.
After 3 years, licensees may move their dispensary anywhere in the State (again subject to local zoning approval, Department approval, and the fee). Each year, the Department will determine how many additional licenses can be issued and will allocate the licenses to applicants with the following priorities: 1st to a county without a dispensary; 2nd to CHAAs without a dispensaries; and finally with a formula that targets areas with higher densities of qualified patients.
Please clarify the “signed attestation” process and for zoning compliance issues and its consequences.
First, a prospective applicant may drive-thru a neighborhood and decide, to the best of his/her ability, that the property complies with local ordinances. However, in reality the Applicant has no way of knowing whether they are in compliance without applying to city or county zoning department. There are lots of private schools and churches in non-descript industrial areas and strip malls because of cheaper rents and a drive-thru will not reveal them.
Consequently, please clarify what happens if a Dispensary Applicant chosen by DHS is then found to be non-compliant with zoning requirements on their initial application, whether unknowingly or perhaps purposefully. Will the Applicant then be able to move to another location in the CHAA or lose the Dispensary Registration Certificate for false statement made in application?
This is an area that is of great concern to many potential applicants and we’d like to thank you in advance for your clarification.
for zoning and consequences please refer to the City (ordinances) that you wish to apply in…you would also need to contact the city to assure that you are in compliance with zoning requirements.
You can change the location of a dispensary, as long at it complies with local zoning and you pay the required fees.
So to clarify, if a site is compliant with local zoning regulations, and the City administrative process requires an applicant to register their site (much like a CUP or SUP process)…that can be done after, and if, the applicant is awarded a certificate from the state?
I have been following the news blogs since Nov. 2010.I have a question…How many Dispensarys will be aloted per each CHAA? I was at the city of Mesa’s meeting and they gave us the impression that each CHAA had populations that designate how many Dispensaries per CHAA.. for example the Mayor looked at his council and asked “is it 5 or 7 for our CHAA?’ Also in the Az Republic 3-26-2011. “The city of Pho. has issued first 5 medical marijuana dispensaries” Your rules published today say” one Dispensary per CHAA” Can you help with me with this?
Thanks Mike Miller
1 per CHAA, DHS issues the certificates not the cities.
Thank you so much for making this blog available.
Question on this comment on your blog “If there’s more than one qualified applicant per CHAA, we will screen the applicants through a series of residency and financial history criteria.”
I would like to ask some clarification on the residency part.
My partners and I who will be applying for a dispensary license have all lived and been active in our small community that is within a CHAA for over 45 years.
We each operate our own businesses in our town two of which are in the medical field, we are members of our local chamber of commerce, and we are very active in the affairs of our town.
Now we know for fact that three different groups all of which are from out of town (and in one situation out of state) have already entered into rental agreements in the areas zoned for a dispensary.
So my question, is your statement implying that we would be at an advantage because of our residency in our CHAA?
Also would letters of recommendation from our local Chamber be of advantage then, as we have been members for over 20 years?
Residency is required as stated in R9-17-304 (c). No, letters of reccomendation from your local Chamber will not be an advantage.
In the posting you state: “If there’s more than one qualified applicant per CHAA, we will screen the applicants through a series of residency and financial history criteria.”
It is assumed Mr. Humble is referring to the criteria in 302 (A), but:
1. Will there be a subjective analysis of this criteria, or it will simply be an objective, checklist-type of review?
2. Is there any other financial criteria in addition to the ones listed in 302(A)?
The rules were drafted to be objective. All criteria for the evaluations of applicants are in the rule.
Will, thanks for speaking at todays MPP meeting. I didn’t have a chance to ask this question today due to time constraints.
My comment was in regards to a applicant being able to submit 1 application for 5 different CHAA zones. My concern is that if a potential applicant is qualified and has the financial backing and business plan to qualify for 1 major urban CHAA, what would prevent them from qualifying for ALL 5 certificates in 5 different CHAA’s, and potentially owning 5 dispensaries? If their business plan is solid and the financial backing is there, all you have to do is copy the exact same plan w/ a different address + $150k backing(for each), and they would have the opportunity to monopolize parts of phoenix by owning up to 5 dispensaries. What Im getting at is that I feel if a applicant is chosen for 1 CHAA, the remainder of their applications should be removed from the pool to give other prospective owners a chance. If there is a lack of other qualified applicants for a particular CHAA, then they could be reconsidered as applicants.
As a oncology nurse I don’t have the $200k to throw at attorneys to produce the “perfect”model business plan. What I do have is the skill and compassion to care for and provide the medicine these patients need. Please consider allowing only 1 dispensary certificate issued per applicant group. This would give other applicants a fighting chance.
Thank you AZDHS
Per the rules a person is allowed to apply 5 times, but they must be in 5 different CHAA’s. If we have more than one applicant for a specific CHAA, we will use our evaluation process to select the best applicant for that CHAA.
Speaking as a fabricator that has reworked many industrial buildings I was told you have said there is only one door in the cultivation buildings allowed and a one inch thick steel door or gate is required too, Fire marshals will not allow buildings that could trap workers if a fire breaks out and a inch of solid steel door is just sort of overkill.Heck a guy could just cut a hole in the wall or drive through it.
You will have to contact your local zoning offices to have this question answered.
I also don’t get this 150 k qualifier.i own all my buildings outright and have partners with degrees in horticultural areas.I loose out to some Chiropractor with a big IRA or worse yet must partner up with the white belt wearing glad handler because he has a fat bank account? Do they do this with liquor licences?
Your final draft was excellent, it really got rid of the “land grab” that was occurring. Some people even noticed that realtors and landlords were selling letters of intent. You could purchase these at $1000-$2000 each or you could get an exclusive letter at $5000-$10000 and they wouldn’t provide letters to anyone else.
Kudos to the staff there that helped get rid of this unscrupulous activity.
Are the required plans- the inventory control plan, qualifying patient record keeping plan, security plan, patient education & support plan, business plan – going to be reviewed for quality / comprehensiveness? what happens if someone submits a plan that does not meet the requirements of the regs?