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Arizona To Begin Accepting Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applications Soon


arizona marijuanaGov. Jan Brewer has directed the Department of Health to begin accepting and processing dispensary licenses

Over a year after voters approved medical marijuana, Arizona Gov Jan Brewer has given up her fight and will allow the medical marijuana dispensary provision to proceed.

Brewer said in an announcement Friday she will direct the state health department to begin accepting and processing medical marijuana dispensary applications once a separate legal challenge over state regulations is settled.

“The State of Arizona will not re-file in federal court a lawsuit that sought clarification that State employees would not be subject to federal criminal prosecution simply for implementing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA),” the statement read. “Instead, I have directed the Arizona Department of Health Services to begin accepting and processing dispensary applications, and issuing licenses for those facilities once a pending legal challenge to the Department’s medical marijuana rules is resolved.”

Voters approved The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in the 2010 election. That act allows those with certain specified medical conditions to get a recommendation from a doctor that they can legally use marijuana. That recommendation entitles the person to obtain a medical marijuana card from the health department allowing them to obtain up to 2 1/2 ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks.

So far the health department has issued over 17,000 medical marijuana patient cards. The law also clearly provides for 125 state-regulated non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries where those with the medical marijuana cards could get their medicine.

Brewer, however, blocked state health officials from even accepting applications after US Attorney Dennis Burke refused to provide assurances that Arizona state workers who process those forms would not be prosecuted under federal laws which make it a crime to facilitate someone else getting marijuana.

“It is well-known that I did not support passage of Proposition 203,” Brewer boldly said in the statement.

The governor then filed suit in federal court asking Judge Susan Bolton to rule whether there is immunity for public employees. The lawsuit was then tossed since the court was not in the business of issuing advisory opinions. She also said there was no evidence anyone would be prosecuted, pointing out that no federal prosecutor in any state with a medical marijuana law had brought charges against any public employee for processing paperwork.

Running out of legal solutions, Brewer said implementing the dispensary provision of the law is “the best course of action,” and will not go against the will of the voters anymore.

One Last Hurdle

Before the process can begin, the courts need to resolve a suit that was filed in state court by attorneys for Compassion First, a group formed to assist those seeking to open dispensaries. The suit challenges the health department’s rules that restrict who can run a marijuana facility. Those rules include state residency requirements, a prohibition against those with prior bankruptcies and other limits not included in the law voters approved.

When the lawsuit is settled, the state won’t accept medical marijuana dispensary applications until at least September, state health Director Will Humble said. Humble estimated they will issue permits in mid-November.


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  1. Ifurdifferent on

    If you’re looking for a clinic to get your card in AZ go to Cannabis Patient Evaluation Center. This is their # 1-800-496-3024
    Dr. Strong is the best!

  2. R Chris McCauley on

    How about the textiles you get from marijuana? Fuel and heating oil, clothing, and building materials such as plywood, and many other earth friendly products. You want to help reverse global warming, imagine not having to cut down another tree. Trees cleanse the air and supply oxygen to breathe. Marijuana can be harvested every 6 months. Seems likes a no-brainer to me…oh yeah, we have a bunch of brainless people running our country.

  3. Just put up for vote, a bill that says, the government lied about marijuana, and that this can be used as a legal defense.

    “Your honor under bill 420-2012 we move to dismiss this case due to lack of credibility”
    “Your honor, we counter sue….

    Case dismissed, counter suit granted.

  4. Prohibition has triggered the worst crime wave in history.

    * It has helped escalate the number of people on welfare who can’t find employment due to their felony status.

    * It has created a black market with massive incentives to hook both adults and children alike.

    * It has made these substances widely available even in schools and prisons.

    * It has escalated gang warfare beyond what was experienced in the days of alcohol bootlegging.

    * It has create a prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords.

    * It has helped remove many important civil liberties from the very citizens it falsely claims to represent.

    * It has put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.

    * It has grossly escalated Murder, Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.

    * It has diverted scarce law-enforcement resources away from protecting citizens from the ever escalating violence against their person or property.

    * It has overcrowded the courts and prisons, thus making it increasingly impossible to curtail the people who are hurting and terrorizing others.

    * It has evolved local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, helping them control vast swaths of territory while gifting them with significant social and military resources.

    Imagine if we were to chop down every single tree on the planet as a response to our failure to prevent tree-climbing accidents. That’s what our misguided drug policy looks like. Isn’t it time we all should up and told the government we’re tired of being beaten and jailed so that pharmaceutical companies can poison and kill us for obscene profits?

    Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

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