Proposition 203, legalizing medical marijuana approved by Arizona voters last November, is now creating new business growth. The Department of Health Services controls every step proposition 203 takes as cannabis becomes Arizona's sixth C of economy.
Dennis Burke, Arizona's US attorney, warned the Department of Health services director, Will Humble, proposition 203 may allow medical use of marijuana in Arizona. It does not mean the federal government won't seek to prosecute drug traffickers in federal court. It remains to be seen if this will reduce the number of applications for a dispensary license. The application deadline is June 1st. Medical marijuana dispensaries should be open for business by October.
Arizona has approved the opening of 124 dispensaries for medical marijuana throughout the state. The dispensaries are to be nondescript with only a small sign; however, there has been a lot of public outrage at proposed dispensary sites. The public is as concerned as Humble that legal marijuana will be abused as a recreational drug.
Phoenix is working to prevent the marijuana law from being abused. The city has a limit of 2,000 square feet for a marijuana facility. The city has issued three different marijuana use permits: growing, sales or infusion permits. Any medical marijuana use facility will have to be at least one mile from other facilities. Phoenix has also restricted the proximity those facilities are to schools, homes, bars and churches.
The latest business to pop up from proposition 203 is a school in Scottsdale. Green Horizons University will offer classes on how to cultivate marijuana for medical use. The school will also sell medical marijuana cultivation tools and offer legal, medical and auditing advice to dispensary owners.
Will Cannabis succeed as a sixth C of Arizona's economy? As Humble stated, "We're in charge of substance abuse for the state and here we are charged with implementing a medical marijuana law, which if we get it wrong will end up becoming a recreational marijuana law which would then undermine our mission which is to try and avoid substance abuse." Implementing proposition 203 is proving to be very frustrating. The Department of Health Services officials are realizing what a fine line it is to balance medical marijuana use over recreational abuse of the drug.