Arizona will continue to implement its medical marijuana dispensary program despite receiving a second letter from the federal government warning that state employees could be prosecuted for participating in the licensing process.
This is welcome news for the industry: Medical marijuana dispensaries and related cannabis businesses can now breathe a little easier going forward, as it seems Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will no longer interfere with the state’s voter-approved MMJ laws.
In fact, the budding MMJ industry in Arizona might want to give Brewer a pat on the back, or at least ease up on the criticism a bit.
Medical marijuana advocates heavily criticized the governor last year for delaying the dispensary licensing program. Brewer did so after receiving a warning from the feds that state employees could be prosecuted. Cannabis supporters felt she was defying the will of the voters and doing anything in her power to prevent dispensaries from opening up in Arizona.
After losing a legal battle over the issue, Brewer relented and directed the state to begin licensing dispensaries.
The latest letter from acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel warns that Arizona’s MMJ laws do not necessarily protect state workers from prosecution, stressing that medical cannabis is still illegal under federal laws.
Brewer theoretically could have used the renewed warning as justification to challenge the program like last time, but her spokesman said she will not take that route.