So far, we’ve received well over 1,300 comments on the Informal Draft Rules that we posted December 17. Our first comment period ends today. We’ll be reviewing the comments and revising our initial draft over the next couple of weeks. We’ll be releasing new draft rules for public comment on Monday, January 31, kicking off our next comment period (which will go through February 18). After that, we’ll craft the final Rules and publish the finished package on March 28.
The following issues are generating the most comments:
- The definition/requirements for patient-physician relationship;
- Adding additional medical conditions including mental illness, PTSD, fibromyalgia, depression, etc.;
- The fee structure (especially for patients with limited income);
- The 25 mile limit for patient/caregiver cultivation (which is actually in the Initiative, not the rules);
- The requirement that dispensaries cultivate 70% of their own product;
- The processes for approving dispensary registration certificate;
- The requirement that dispensaries have a medical director;
- The qualifications for medical directors (e.g. allow other medical professionals including a pharmacist, naturopathic physician, homeopathic physician, family nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or registered nurse to be the medical director);
- The 2 year residency requirement for dispensary applicants; and
- The requirement that cultivation facilities be licensed in association with a dispensary (which is actually in the Initiative).
Overall, the comments so far have been constructive and many have been positive and support much of the overall language in informal draft rules. All the comments on the informal draft rule are part of the public record and will be available for review on our hub 203 website (with personal identifiers removed) by next Wednesday.
I have a qualifying disability. Yesterday my doctor advised me that he is not allowed to make a medical marijuana recommendation due to his clinic’s policies. It is the largest clinic in northern Arizona and is the only service provider in many of the small rural communities. My insurance will not allow me to see anyone else. I need to keep my physician but I also need medical marijuana. Please allow me to keep my physician but also see another physician for a recommendation.
As it stands right now there are no provisions to actually get started in the growing of medical marijuana. I have had the privilege of being able to talk to veteran growers in California, and that starting from seeds is the most unpredictable approach to start growing. There are too many variables in starting from scratch to produce a viable crop.
Starting with known clones plants reduces most if not all the problems associated with starting from seeds. We are asking the ADHS to somehow make available the ability to aquire known genetic clone plants.
The Department of Health is doing a good job at what must be a difficult task, writing rules that effect peoples lives so drastically.
If they make the rules about the doctor-patient relationship to lax, we end up with problems, if it’s to strict, patient who need medicine won’t get it.
If they put to many requirements on dispensaries, or don’t enforce the not-for-profit portion of Prop 203, the cost of marijuana will be to high, and force patients back to the black-market.
I hope the patients are the winners in the end, not the dispensary owners.
Will, I’m just trying to get some clarity on the wording. If the patient lives 25 miles away from the nearest dispensary then their caregiver is allowed to cultivate for up to one patient at the caregivers residence even in the city, not 25 miles away.? Is this correct????
January 7, 2011
I have three logistical questions. Many more actually but let’s just address three tonight.
1) Is the 25 mile demarcation line from a dispensary allowing one to grow one’s legitimate legal, medical THC. Is the 25 mile determined “line” by the way; “the crow fly’s”? Or will extenuating circumstances effect the definition. Some examples such as; floods, mud slides, winter snow drifts up north, washed out seasonal roads and passes, (monsoons), etc.
2) Who will assure proper weights and measures of the weight scales and/or containers?
3) The THC quality of the purported medicinal dosage to assure correct medical dosage?
Thank you for your time.
Will & Staff….keep up the good work! I think I have a way you can let patients not abuse the system, but not hurt the patient who needs it. A new patient must have 2 visits each year unless it is obvious, like a paraplegic, advanced cancer, etc. A patient who has a year’s history can keep their doctor and can see a marijuana doctor once each year providing the original doctor provides the marijuana doctor the necessary documentation.
The following section R9-17-202 of the draft rules should be improved with changing the formal language in the initial draft to the following:
5e. A statement, initialed by the physician, that the physician:
Has a professional relationship with the qualifying patient and may provide management and routine care of the patient’s debilitating medical condition or may, after conducting a comprehensive medical history and physical examination, including a personal review of the patient’s medical records maintained by other treating physicians, qualify the patients debilitating medical condition including the patient’s reaction and response to conventional medical therapies;
I’m rather surprised to see that the requirement to grow 70% of dispensary cannabis on site made the “Top 10” list. Anyone that really cares about the patient experience (safety and cost) would favor it.
Inventory control and review of dispensary growing methods from harvest to counter will be difficult enough. Unless the state is going to regulate a pooled production facility of some kind, allowing “outside” production to be contracted for will make it even more impractical for ADHS to monitor. Quality control becomes increasingly difficult, including concerns of contamination (pesticides, molds, insects, and spores, etc), when you allow “outside” inventory. And why isn’t anyone truly concerned about the “cost to the patient” supporting the 70% requirement? The cost to a dispensary for on-site production and internal quality control (where it seems you know what was used in growing, and don’t have to test for it) has got to be less than paying for all the lab time to demonstrate that “outside” cannabis is free of things a cancer or AIDs patient should not be exposed to. You can’t have it both ways and expect a safe environment. Either require it be grown and regulated on site, or require a lot of testing to show “outside” marijuana is meeting reasonable public health standards.
I can’t see anyone with cancer and on chemotherapy adopting an “I don’t care where it was grown” attitude or wanting to pay more for any of their meds, and I can’t imagine opposition to the on site requirement came from patients. Subcontracting is a business model, not a medical model.
Will ADHS provide all the inspections for the programs or will any of the inspections be delegated to the county health dept. I hope it is only ADHS.
The distance from a Dispencery to residential housing is 500 ft.. If a commercial site building has 10 suites, is the measurment made from the closest corner of the over all building or from the individual suites front or back door or the clostest corner of the individiual suite?
I have a few real issues. Is the Arizona gov’t budget overflowing? It would seem to have to be in order to not look at the tax revenue generated by this new industry, by limiting the dispensaries to being non profit… That is hundreds of thousands of dollars from “each” licensed dispensary. Not to mention the restrictions to obtain marijuana only from other non profit dispensaries. Being that no other states have non profit dispensaries to get stocked from… Also the requirements that all board members or principle officers be AZ residents for at least two years, limits the ability to bring in professional business partners who have experience in this field of operation. Previous dispensary owners/operators. People who can help me and others set up a better dispensary, to ensure the best possible product and service to our customers. I am planning on investing my life savings into this business and I want to ensure the best chance of success. For me that means professionals with experience in this field. Also how do we go about obtaining a contract with a doctor to serve as a Medical Director? I have a few more issues, but these are the main ones.
It is only right that the same rules to apply to medical marijuana as they do for man made chemical drugs I get from the pharmacy that were prescribed by my doctor.
I am disabled and I get my man made medications without co pays because of limited income. Even with a license to use medical marijuana, I could not afford medical marijuana if it were not given to me in the same manner as my current medication is, free.
What will we do for those who need this, but cannot afford the high cost. It is VERY expensive for small amounts of medical marijuana in areas that allow it currently; hundreds a week depending on strain and effectivness per individual. We should be able to verify low income status the same way we are doing it currently for food stamps and other assistance, and allow the people who qualify & also need medical marijuana, the same cost free methods of obtaining it as they would any other prescribed drug.
The rule about being a resident for two years is wrong. I left here in an air ambulance in2000 and have been returning winter months for the last three years. I had a liver transplant with many complications. My family moved here in1969 and I went to high school in phoenix. After high school I joined the union Boilermakers and worked 3 years at the nuclear power plants south of Phoenix.My parents still live in the same house for 20 years in Phoenix.I love AZ as much as anyone and to deny me access to a non-profit business is wrong and I wonder if it is even legal.
As a retired veteran just returning to Az. from Northern Calif. I have noticed that most of the better grades of Medical Canibus is very very expensive, I would prefear to grow my own, here in Az. and be able to become a Caretaker for a few others in order to provide a known product, grown totaly organic, for a resonable price.
I am interested to know if the medical conditions approved for use will include any mental illnesses. The medications taken for some illnesses such as bipolar can cause great nausea and loss of appettite. It has been suggested that medical marijuanna can provide some releif.
ks in az
Please refer to the draft rules at azdhs.gov
I do not envy your task. Implementing clear, fair, and consistent rules is a difficult task. As an attorney, I represent patients and several potential dispensary owners.
I understand why ADHS requires comprehensive information from all that apply for a card or dispensary license. Arizona seeks to protect its medical marijuana program from those who would employ it as ruse for the recreational non-medical use of marijuana, and from those who would use a dispensary as a cover for the illegal cultivation and/or sale of marijuana.
I do not, however, see any rules protecting the privacy of patients or dispensary owners.
Respecting, patients, it seems that no law enforcement officer, ADHS employee, dispensary agent, caregiver, etc. should be authorized to disseminate patient information to third parties without the patient’s express, written consent. Patients would do well not to have their sensitive medical information passed along to potential insurers, employers, or others.
Similarly, respecting dispensary agents/owners, their home addresses, business records, business plans, cultivation site location, etc, should be protected from dissemination to third parties as private, and proprietary information. No one wants criminal elements using this information to plan robberies or home invasions.
Encryption could help but may prove unnecessary. I simply suggest that ADHS consider adding some language, similar to the Arizona laws respecting the Arizona Criminal Justice Information System (ACJIS).
Knowingly obtaining information that is to be kept confidential and/or not made public is punishable. See A.R.S. section 13-2316. Likewise transferring that information is also proscribed. See A.R.S. section 13-2010.
I know ADHS wants to protect the public, patients, and dispensary owners. Please consider adopting some privacy rules which may further assist everyone achieve that goal.
Jamal Allen, Attorney
The initiative itself includes many of these protections.
The idea that each dispensary has to grow 70% of what it sells strikes me as difficult and hard to enforce. Would you rather regulate 125 cultivation sites, or 5 cultivation sites designed and operated by farmers who know what they are doing and have the money to build a state of the art facility?
We have removed the 70/30 rule from the new draft. If you agree with this decision, please comment on the draft rules on our website at; http://www.azdhs.gov
A problem in Michigan came up with my brother having had health problems for many years after Vietnam, none of the doctors would sign a certificate for the use of cannibas, as he was a veteran and used the V.A. Although the dr’s. would have liked to sign the form they could’ent because they worked for the federal gov. None of the doctors in the U.P. of mich. were allowed to sign the form due to the hospital in the main town not wanting to lose any profit from the medical marijuana patients not using the hospitals, and they had monopolized the entire U.P. health care system from the main hospital.
I’m a OIF vet. I get all my health care from the VA. They will not help me in getting a cannibas card. I just hope I don’t go on some list were I lose benifits if I have THC in my blood.
Dear Friends: I have know of the Value of Hemp since my Tour in Vietnam. Many of us Vets would not have to take liver destroying drugs if only the Hemp was made ready for us to use. I have been on these drugs for over 12 years, and the hemp is so much better. They can grow it to work or we can do it our selves. Can you steer me in the right direction so I don’t end up losing all I have because Im so dam sick and tired of Pain. I have been dealing since 1970, OMG, is that not long enough. I’d rather use the Hemp, as it really works better and its a good food also. You that fear it, don’t! It’s been here for a long time and if your into the Bible like me, God did say that all seed bearing plants are good! If that don’t give a hint I just don’t know what will. No I don’t want to bring God into this, after all, he made it and look what it can do. Run you cars with no pollutants, CHEAP, unless they tax the heck out of it, and from this mornings paper that is just what they want to do but we knew that didn’t we? But 300%? Come on what kinda of help is that for the sick and hurting? Any comments? I have seen first hand what this can do. Many of the books they take such good care of are of Hemp! Buy a NEW Betty Crockers cookbook, and in 20 years it will be gone or in many pieces. If you but the cloths, make sure the stitching is in hemp or the cotton will have the sleeves fall of in a few years. That is the the way it is.
Wrong Wrong Wrong..!!
Well good to hear things are going well with the changes. I think it is good that the medical departments are looking into using a plant for treatments instead of just man-made chemicals. I say if it works, maybe it is worth looking into.
It is a positive change to revert back to natural substances known to aid various conditions. As
a member of a huge population suffering from
depression, and knowing others in states that have
been able to refrain from chemicals
(that have huge side
effects), and use medical plant treatments to a great
degree of success is enough to encorage me to write this message regarding adding depression to the legal conditions for medical marjuana.
This is an important step. The sooner that people in medical need of marijuana can be administered it the better. So long as it is well controlled and distributed there will be no problem. The medical community create many other narcotics without problem, so why not grow marijuana?
Marijuana is less destructive than pseudoephedrine (when used to make methamphetamine), but I think we can regulate them similarly.
In November 2010, the people of Arizona passed Prop 203, legalizing Medical Marijuana. This was the 3rd time marijuana’s medicinal usage has actually passed in AZ. It is appearing as if the third time is the charm, however, as the Arizona Department of Health Services is placing Rules and Regulations into place at the end of March 2011 for Dispensaries and Patient ID cards.
Thanks for the info. and your contribution in bringing more awareness to the need for medical marijuana. I’m pleasantly surprised to see more positive progress.
my wife and i have a cultivation card . to our understanding we can have 12 plants each.how much can we have growing,drying,and on hand to use at the same time ? we don’t want to go to jail jack
Please visit http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/36/02801.htm&Title=36&DocType=ARS for clarification.