This month marks a milestone in the Arizona medical marijuana program. The Department of Health Services finally held the lottery drawing for medical marijuana dispensaries. Out of the 126 slots available, 27 of the areas received no application for a dispensary.
That cut down the number of potential lottery winners to 99. 20 some of those areas only received one applicant. Therefore there was really no drawing to occur, as those applicants won that area by default. For 70 some others, the drawing was held on August 7 and those winners will be notified by mail. Two licenses were not given out due to pending lawsuits.
The lottery itself went off very smoothly. However, there appear to be some more turbulent times ahead for the law. Prior to the lottery, 13 out of 15 County prosecutors signed a letter to the governor asking for her to repeal the law. They stated that federal law supersedes state law and that the marijuana law should be stopped. The governor promptly refused.
Shortly thereafter, the Atty. Gen. for Arizona Tom Horne decided to write a non-binding opinion basically stating the same thing, that federal law supersedes state law when it comes to medical marijuana. This set the stage for an upcoming showdown and new lawsuit.
The governor refused to sign the letter from the County prosecutors because she stated she needed to uphold the will of the people. And pending a higher authority telling her to cease and desist, the law would be implemented as it is supposed to be. The lottery applicants who have spent many thousands of dollars getting to this point are not simply going to let it go if a lawsuit prevents their opening.
The next few months should be very interesting regarding the dispensaries. In the meantime, Arizona MMC is the best clinic in the Valley for obtaining your Arizona medical marijuana card. Call toll free (855) 294-3227 for scheduling – the office takes your picture and uploads your application at no extra charge!