The Arizona Department of Health Services is making preparations for the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries around the state.
Department Director Will Humble released a statement on his blog that the department received a total of 486 marijuana dispensary applications. The current rules state that the department can only issue 126 dispensary certificates across the state.
The department received applications for 99 of the 126 Community Health Analysis Areas the department is using to help spread the dispensaries across the state. Around 75 of the 99 CHAAs received more than one application.
Each area can have only one dispensary. The AZDHS will use an air-powered lottery ball machine to determine who will get a dispensary certificate for the 75 CHAAs that have more than one application. The Medical Marijuana Act does not allow the department to identify applicants by name. So, each applicant will get a random number that matches a ball in the machine. When a ball is drawn, the person with the number matching the ball will get the certificate for that CHAA.
The drawing will be held live online on Aug. 7. The department will release the website address a few days before the drawing. The certificates will be mailed out later that day.
The certificates are not a license to open a dispensary. Applicants who receive a certificate must complete construction, have their store inspected by AZDHS and receive approval to operate at least 60 days before their dispensary certificate expires.
More information can be found on dispensaries and the lottery process at azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana.
The department is also working on a contract with Arizona's pharmacies and poison control centers to provide assistance and educational materials to dispensary medical directors.
It is also working on hiring an agency to audit the dispensaries to make sure they are operating as non-profits.
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Author: Suzanne Adams
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Website: State prepares for opening of dispensaries - Kingman Daily Miner - Kingman, Arizona