Uncle Herb's medical-marijuana dispensary, tucked away near pine
trees in an industrial area of south Payson, has the homey feel of a
country store. Red brick and wood trim accent the interior. T-shirts
and other products hang in a gift area near the two bars displaying
pale green cannabis buds in glass cake stands. The small commercial
kitchen, visible from the bud-tending area through a large window, is
modern. So is the kitchen's special helper - a six-foot-tall
collection of stainless-steel canisters, flexible hoses, and gauges
that the staff calls "Wall-E."
[continues 4552 words]
A national marijuana-advocacy group has announced that it will push
to ask Arizona voters in 2016 if they want to legalize pot for adult
A grass-roots effort, led by a Phoenix man, would ask voters to amend
the state Constitution to allow people age 18 and older "to consume
or possess limited amounts" of marijuana. But the local effort has
largely been discounted by the political establishment because it
lacks major financial backing.
[continues 1108 words]
Medical Operators Fear Being Undercut by Recreational Use
Medical-marijuana dispensary operators are apprehensive about plans
by a powerful marijuana-advocacy group to campaign for full
legalization of the drug in Arizona.
The Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization
that advocates marijuana legalization and regulation, is a former
ally of the dispensary owners, having played a key financial and
public-relations role in passage of the state law that created the
burgeoning medical-marijuana program.
Bolstered by the Obama administration's announcement that it will not
challenge such laws, the group intends to pursue full legalization in
Arizona through a voter initiative in 2016 and in nine other states
over the next two election cycles. The initiative will be modeled on
a program in Colorado, which has legalized marijuana for recreational use.
[continues 1492 words]
Let's not let Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act get in the way of the "War
on Drugs", which is basically a full employment jobs program for cops.
Proposition 203 clearly says that ALL forms are marijuana, which
includes concentrated forms of pot like hashish and hash oil are legal
for medical marijuana patients: "ARS 36-2801.7 'Marijuana' means all
parts of any plant of the genus cannabis."
But despite that the cops are falsely arresting medical marijuana
patients who use concentrated forms of marijuana like hashish and hash
oil and charging them with possession of CANNABIS, which the cops say
[continues 240 words]
Nearly three years after Arizona voters narrowly approved the concept,
medical marijuana has come to Mesa.
Giving Tree Wellness Center opened in late June at 938 E. Juanita
Ave., just the sort of industrial-park setting that the City Council
envisioned two years ago when it approved zoning restrictions for such
It is Giving Tree's second facility in the Valley; the other is in
Both are under the medical direction of Dr. Gina Berman, an
emergency-room physician who believes traditional Western medicine can
go only so far in helping some patients.
[continues 522 words]
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.
[continues 278 words]
Mesa in line for 4; one district has no eligible sites
Mesa will find out this week who will be authorized to operate the
four medical-marijuana dispensaries likely to set up shop in the city.
The Arizona Department of Health Services will conduct a lottery on
Tuesday to choose from the scores of applicants vying for the business
of people legally authorized to use marijuana.
Mesa has five of Arizona's 126 so-called community health analysis
areas, each of which is authorized to have one dispensary.
[continues 481 words]
Ahwatukee Has Only 1 Applicant
Ahwatukee will learn next week whether its only applicant for a
medical-marijuana dispensary license will be authorized to set up shop.
For most of Arizona's 126 so-called community health analysis areas,
multiple applicants are seeking state permission to sell marijuana
for treatment of medical conditions.
The Arizona Department of Health Services will conduct a lottery for
those zones on Tuesday.
Ahwatukee, which is among several zones in Phoenix, had only one
[continues 553 words]
Arizona health officials are considering adding post-traumatic stress
disorder, depression, anxiety and migraines as qualifying conditions
to use medical marijuana. Department of Health Services Director Will
Humble is expected to decide this week.
Voters approved Proposition 203 in November 2010, and it went in
effect in April 2011.
Under the law, individuals can use marijuana to treat debilitating
medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis
C, Lou Gehrig's disease, Crohn's disease or Alzheimer's disease.
[continues 746 words]
Medical-marjiuana dispensaries will have to employ a medical director
at their operations, as state health officials require, a Maricopa
County Superior Court judge has ruled. The non-profits could begin
opening this summer.
Judge Richard Gama's May 1 decision is an important one because it
could prevent abuse of medical marijuana, said Will Humble, director
of the Arizona Department of Health Services.
"This is a really important component of the program because without
it, over time, it would've evolved into each dispensary just moving
product," Humble said.
[continues 309 words]
Could Locate in City As Soon As Summer
Former state attempts to prohibit the licensing of medical marijuana
dispensaries are expected to stop, giving the green light to those
looking to set up shop.
"The Department of Health has announced the state isn't going to file
anymore appeals," Growth Management Director Alton Bruce said.
This decision looks to directly impact Coolidge, as four separate
parties have already expressed interest in a city location.
"Three of whom identified locations in the Safeway plaza," he added,
explaining that each will be required to submit a competing
application. "It will only be one that is licensed (by the state)."
[continues 400 words]
Arizona officials will not appeal last week's judicial ruling that
the state must allow medical-marijuana dispensaries and cannot
restrict who operates them based on where they live or their financial history.
Judge Richard Gama's decision broadened the pool of potential
dispensary owners and cleared the way for the state's medical-pot
industry. The only remaining question was whether state officials
would challenge the ruling.
Will Humble, director of the state's health department, on Tuesday
said his department will begin accepting applications sometime this
year. The state anticipates licensing up to 125 dispensaries.
[continues 261 words]
A U.S. District Court judge Wednesday dismissed Arizona's lawsuit
seeking to clarify whether its voter-approved medical-marijuana law
trumps federal drug laws.
In an unusual legal request, Gov. Jan Brewer had asked the court to
mediate the conflict between state and federal drug laws. But Judge
Susan Bolton tossed the suit, saying the state couldn't show its
workers were at risk of federal prosecution for following Proposition
203, or even if it intended to fully implement the law.
[continues 894 words]
Gov. Jan Brewer is a champion of states' rights.
Except when she's not.
Like, for instance, when it comes to defending a citizen-approved
proposition authorizing dispensaries for medical marijuana.
(Feel free to insert your favorite marijuana-pun headline here:
"States' rights claim goes up in smoke." Or "... goes to pot." Or the
more subtle "Jan backs away from Mary Jane." Or a stoner favorite
like, "Doobie-ous support for states' rights.")
Brewer, Attorney General Tom Horne and others were against the
medical-marijuana proposition, but voters approved it anyway.
[continues 649 words]