Pubdate: Sun, 05 Aug 2012
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2012 The Arizona Republic
Contact: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/sendaletter.html
Website: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/24
Author: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez

MEDICAL POT SHOPS AWAITING LOTTERY

State Is Set to Award Licenses on Tuesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services will hold a muchanticipated 
- - and highly controversial - lottery on Tuesday to select 
medical-marijuana dispensaries.

State officials have decided to move forward with licensing the 
dispensaries, even as 13 county attorneys have urged Gov. Jan Brewer 
to halt the process and federal prosecutors have moved to shut down 
the nation's largest medicalmarijuana dispensary in California. The 
Los Angeles City Council, meanwhile, ordered each of the city's 762 
dispensaries to shut down.

Arizona health officials received 486 medical-marijuana dispensary 
applications from individuals or businesses that want to set up shop 
in 99 of the state's 126 designated dispensary areas.

The state received more than one application for 75 of the 99 areas, 
so health officials will randomly select those dispensary winners 
using a lottery-like device that blows numbered pingpong balls inside 
a clear cage.

Most of the competitive districts are located throughout the state's 
urban areas.

Under state law, health officials cannot publicly identify the 
applicants by name or business name.

Prior to the lottery, health officials will assign a number to each 
dispensary applicant's corresponding lottery ball.

Officials will provide a registration certificate as soon as an 
applicant's dispensaryagent cards are issued.

Winning applicants will have a little less than a year to build out 
their dispensaries and obtain proper licensing from the state and 
their cities or towns.

The Department of Health Services will air the lottery live via a 
webcast at www.livestream.com/azdhs.

Under Arizona's law, there is no limit to the amount of marijuana a 
dispensary can grow. Patients can obtain up to 21/2 ounces of medical 
marijuana every two weeks.

About 29,500 people have permission from the state health department 
to smoke, eat or otherwise ingest medical marijuana to ease their ailments.

Those patients had to submit medical records, authorization from a 
physician and other information to prove they had a history of 
medical conditions that could be treated with marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom