Legal medical industry in Arizona
Arizona Hemp Center's Medical Marijuana Blog is a continually updated resource of news and information regarding proposition 203 in Arizona and medical marijuana use across the country. Our goal is to help promote the drug as a viable method of treatment for certain illnesses, and also share best practices for consumption on medical marijuana.
The Arizona Department of Health Services has received petitions to expand the state's medical-marijuana program to include treatment of sleeping disorders and skin conditions.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, approved by voters in 2010, requires the state health department to periodically accept and evaluate petitions to see whether to allow new medical conditions into the program.
In July, state health Director Will Humble refused to expand the program to include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and migraines. He and a panel of medical experts, working from a University of Arizona study, determined there is insufficient scientific evidence to show the risks or benefits of using marijuana with those conditions.
Humble has said he will expand the program only if there is scientific evidence to support permanently adding conditions to the list.
He is expected to decide about the sleeping disorders and skin conditions within the next few months.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/07/31/20120731medical-marijuana-ok-sleeping-disorders-skin-conditions-sought.html#ixzz22Kj4cadx
The demand for medical marijuana in the state of Arizona was clearly evident last month as the Department of Health Services received 486 applications from across the state for medical-marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities.
According to the ADHS Director’s blog, 75 of the state’s 126 Community Health Analysis Areas (CHAAs) had more than one applicant. In many of the areas, applicants may have filed and paid the $5,000 fee, under multiple names, hoping to improve their chances. Because state rules limit each CHAA to one facility, the state will randomly select from qualified applicants in those CHAAs via a live lottery to be webcast on Tuesday, August 7.
Of the nearly 500 facilities that applied for approval, 90 are in Phoenix. When the licenses are awarded, the city will end up with 15 facilities total. To read about locations in the city where the applications are focused, see azcentral.com’s article.
As more and more states nationwide now lawfully allow the consumption of medical marijuana – 15 as of this writing, with approximately 12 other states considering the same action – the movement for its decriminalization seems to be gaining momentum.
In fact, the American Medical Association recently asked the federal government to review the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance in order to ease the way for more research into its therapeutic benefits. Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule controlled substance, the most restrictive of five categories, which includes other drugs such as heroin, LSD and PCP. While the AMA, the largest physician's organization in the U.S., said it does not endorse any current state-based medical marijuana programs or the legalization of marijuana, the move is a significant shift that continues a trend toward support for easing restrictions against the drug.
Also a part of that trend are President Barack Obama’s recent comments about not prioritizing prosecutions of persons using medical marijuana in those states that have legalized it. The president suggested that law enforcement use it's “prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.” As a consequence, there has been a reduction in prosecutions of users of marijuana for medical purposes.
These comments from the executive office indicate a change in course from past administrations, which maintained strict opposition to the consumption of medical marijuana – even for people with valid marijuana cards in states where the plant is legalized for medicinal use.
While this news by no means translates to the legalization of marijuana in the U.S., the AMA’s support of further research about the medical benefits of the drug and the president’s changing views toward medical marijuana are signs that things may be changing. Baby steps, baby steps.
After months of legal battles, the Arizona Dept. of Health Services is proceeding with applications for Medical Marijauna dispensaries in Arizona. According to Will Humble, Director of AZ DHS, his office will begin reviewing dispensary applications after a federal court refused to hear a case requested by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
Given that several months have passed since the AZ DHS first accepted applications for Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, it is useful to review the Arizona Medical Marijuana Law and the procedures for applying for a dispensary license in Arizona.
ARS 36-2804 covers the "Registration and certification of nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries"
In relevant part, the law states that:
* A nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries shall register with the AZ DHZ
* The dispensary application must consist of an application fee and a full and complete medical marijuana dispensary application. This application shall consist of:
(i) The name of the medical marijuana dispensary.
(ii) The address of the medical marijuana dispensary and the physical address of one additional location, if any, where marijuana will be cultivated
(neither location may be within 500 feet of a public or private school)
* Personal information on those involved in the non profit medical marijuanadispensary
* Operating procedures for the medical marijuana dispensary consistent with department rules for oversight of the nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary,
* Compliance with local zoning for an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary
Stay tuned for more information on AZ medical Marijuana dispensaries, including the AZ medical marijuana dispensary application process and other information on AZ MMJ.
It's been almost a year since Arizona passed a historic medical marijuana law. Yet, 10 months later, confusion reigns amongst Arizona residents, entreprenuers, and state officials. At the moment, it is legal to purchase medical marijuana with a state-issued medical marijuana card. Yet, the dispensaries and cultivation centers contemplated in Arizona's medical marijuana law are in limbo.
Governer Jan Brewer campaigned against the law, yet signed in with reluctance. The state has issued more thn 7,500 medical marijuana cards, but dispensaries have not been granted licenses as contemplated by the law. The state attorney general and Governor Brewer filed suit in federal court to determine whether the state law is trumped by federal regulations related to medical marijuana.
Ironic considering the "states rights" stance popularized by Republican Governors, including Governor Brewer.Of course, the immigration controversy is another highly charged political issue that dove-tails with the medical marijauna issue. Would legalization of marijuana temper the violence and controversy that pervades the Arizona-Mexico border?
Speaking of law enforcement, there have been instances in which police filed charges for posession of marijuana despite the possession of a valid Arizona medical marijuana card. Obviously, the uncertain state of affairs makes things difficult for all parties-- citizens, law enforcement, and state officials.
Ironically, "states rights" officials in Arizona are hoping that the federal governement will intervene. At the same time, the Obama administration seems to be prioritizing other issues well ahead of those participating in the medical marijuana movement that is taking place in a dozen or so states across the country.
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