Gov. Brewer Orders Arizona to Start Processing Dispensary Applications

January 13, 2012 | Mike Liszewski
The good news that came out last week for Arizona medical cannabis patients got even better today. Having a week to digest the impact of having her lawsuit thrown out of federal court on Jan. 4th, AZ Gov. Jan Brewer has announced she will not re-file. More significant (and quite a pleasant surprise) was the following statement by Brewer:

“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."


This is fantastic news, although any credit given to Brewer needs to be put in context. The AZ Governor has actively worked to prevent the program, and even qualified her encouraging statement above by saying, “[i]t is well-known that I did not support passage of Proposition 203.” With that in mind, it will be important to keep an eye on the response Brewer gets back from U.S. Attorney forArizona, Ann Birmingham Scheel, asking for federal government’s position on state employees regulating dispensaries. However, last week’s resounding dismissal of Brewer’s case should be indicative that regardless of Scheel’s response, the program must still move forward.

Medical cannabis dispensaries will finally be coming to Arizona. It’s still a question of when, but it looks like they’ll be arriving much sooner than anyone previously expected.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this entry stated that AZ would begin processing applications prior to completion of the state-level lawsuit. Applications will not be processed until completion of this lawsuit. Thank you to those who pointed out the error.

Proposition 203 and Arizona Medical Marijuana Act: http://www.azdhs.gov/prop203/

Pending Lawsuit: http://www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/documents/dispensaries/CompassionFirst-v-Arizona.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 
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