By TJ Green
After much ado, and many courtroom battles, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced today that hopeful dispensary owners can submit applications starting May 14.
The application window will only be open for ten days. Anyone who wants to open a dispensary must submit their application by 5 p.m. on May 25th.
According to the latest application report, their are now over 25,000 medical marijuana patients in Arizona. Based on the estimated number of patients in other states, Arizona should have well over 100,000 patients by now.
I can tell you one thing for sure, hearts are thumping across Arizona tonight, as would-be medical marijuana moguls race to prepare their applications.I'm not the only one calling this a race; ADHS director Will Humble announced today on his blog, "Flag Drops for Dispensary Applications."
Here's how its going to go down, according to director Humble: ADHS will start reviewing applications on May 14. ADHS staff will then take 30 working days to review the applications. If any documentation or information is missing, applicants will have 20 working days to submit the required information. ADHS expects to issue the first licenses on August 7th. There could be up to 126 dispensary licenses granted across Arizona.
It's great to see Arizona moving forward in the face of federal threats and intimidation. I may not always agree with Arizona's sense of rugged individualism (e.g. some harsh immigration laws), but in this case, I must tip my hat to the Arizona Department of Health Services for having the courage and determination to finally deliver on the promise of medical marijuana, which was approved by the people of Arizona.
Our battles are hard fought in medical marijuana, but these small victories will add up to the great victory we all seek--the end of second class citizenship for cannabis users. The first step patients must take before they can buy from a dispensary in Arizona is a medical marijuana evaluation by a licensed Arizona physician.