Pubdate: Sat, 11 Aug 2012
Source: Green Valley News and Sun (AZ)
Copyright: 2012 Green Valley News and Sun
Author: Philip Franchine


After Tuesday's state lottery for medical marijuana dispensaries, the 
application for a Sahuarita location appears to be the only one alive 
in the area, and the applicant said he is looking forward to opening up.

However, there is no clear timetable for future developments because 
the state has not actually approved any dispensaries yet. The lottery 
simply winnowed the list to one applicant in each health planning 
area. No one applied for the Green Valley planning area.

An applicant was chosen in a larger health planning area known as 
Continental that includes part of Sahuarita east of Nogales Highway, 
but that location appears to be in Tucson. The Arizona Department of 
Health Services does not release addresses for dispensary 
applications, but applicants must obtain zoning approval from cities, 
towns or counties, and those records are public.

In Sahuarita, there were several early application efforts that 
fizzled before the lottery.

In an oddity, applicants routinely have applied to the Arizona 
Department of Health Services using the addresses of properties on 
which they do not hold leases but which do comply with state zoning 
requirements, such as being away from schools and day care centers. 
Applicants that survive the lottery process and meet other state 
requirements then will seek leases on those properties, real estate 
and zoning officials said.

State online records show there are 35 people certified to use 
medical marijuana in Green Valley; 97 in the health planning area 
known as Arivaca, which also includes most of Sahuarita west of 
Nogales Highway; and 117 in the sprawling Continental area, which 
stretches north into Tucson.

"We are excited to bring safe access to medical cannabis for those 
patients seeking pain-management solutions," said Bryan W. Hill, 
president of Broken Arrow Herbal Center, the company that applied for 
a dispensary in the 1700 block of west Commerce Point Place in 
Sahuarita. "Our first priority is to be responsible neighbors and 
seamlessly integrate into the community. At this stage of the game it 
would be premature to discuss specific plans for the dispensary or 
the timeline to opening until the applicable contracts are in place."


Dispensary History

Arizona voters in November 2010 passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana 
Act, Proposition 203, a citizen initiative that required the Arizona 
Department of Health Services to create rules for a medical marijuana 
program. Between April 2011 and May, 8, 2012, the state approved 
28,647 patients, with 88 percent citing chronic pain, for medical marijuana use.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom