Arizona will start accepting a second round of applications for medical marijuana dispensaries this summer. The exact date and amount of available dispensary locations have not yet been released by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), but their website states it will be “updated at least 30 calendar days before the date the Department begins accepting applications.”
In 2010, the ADHS issued just 99 out of 126 licences for Arizona dispensaries. It is assumed the ADHS will allow for the remaining 27 dispensary licenses to become available this summer. Furthermore, when the first Arizona dispensary applications were received, applicants were required to have at least $150,000 in the bank. But that stipulation was repealed in 2012, and is no longer a requirement.
The application selection process will otherwise be the same, reports Phoenix New Times. The lottery-style selection process comes into play when two or more applications are received for the same general area and all meet the same criteria.
Currently, dispensaries that have been in operation for more than 3 years have an option to move their business to a new location, with approval from the ADHS. If dispensaries choose to move their location, new applicants may be able to apply for those specific areas.
If outlying dispensaries choose to move further in-state, it may make some patients eligible to grow their own medical marijuana at home. This is because if no dispensary locations are within 25 miles of a patient’s home, the patient can request permission from the ADHS to cultivate marijuana.
Aside from Tucson dispensaries, southern Arizona is nearly barren in terms of medical marijuana dispensaries. Four locations listed in the Community Health Analysis Areas (CHAAs), did not receive any applications in 2012.
One Arizona lawmaker, Vince Leach, has sponsored a bill preventing dispensaries from moving from their original location. Given that dispensaries can move to a new, approved location, opportunities to fill the open CHAAs from the new applications is the main reason for the state’s decision to take new applications.