Pubdate: Fri, 16 Nov 2012
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2012 The Arizona Republic
Author: Yvonne Wingett Sanchez


The Arizona Department of Health Services has licensed the state's 
first medical-marijuana dispensary.

Arizona Organix passed a detailed inspection of its facility in 
Glendale, with surveyors examining everything from security to 
inventory control and medical credentials.

The license allows the dispensary to begin selling medical marijuana.

The dispensary operators haven't yet decided when they will open, 
said Ryan Hurley, their attorney.

"They're ready to open as soon as they want to," he said. "It's not 
going to be tomorrow."

As of today, state health officials will stop issuing cards that 
allow people to grow medical marijuana in their homes if they live 
within 25 miles of the Glendale facility at 5301 W. Glendale Ave. The 
voter-approved law prohibits individuals from growing if a licensed 
dispensary is near patient homes.

State health officials will not revoke grow cards from patients or 
caregivers who currently have permission to grow in their homes.

However, health officials will not renew their grow cards, 
theoretically forcing people to purchase from regulated dispensaries 
and other qualified patients.

Voters in 2010 passed the state's medical-marijuana law, allowing 
people with certain debilitating conditions to use the drug upon 
recommendations from physicians and approval by the health department.

State health officials have issued 97 dispensary-registration 
certificates, giving them the opportunity to sell marijuana and 
operate cultivation sites following inspections by health inspectors.

Some who have received dispensary-registration certificates have told 
The Arizona Republic that they are waiting to move forward with 
inspection requests until a Maricopa County Superior Court judge 
settles a challenge to the state's medical-marijuana law.

Surveyors will inspect a Tucson dispensary Tuesday.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom