Arizona officials are weighing several changes to the state’s medical marijuana rules that could both hurt and help dispensaries.
The proposals include:
– Tweaking the distance requirement for growing cannabis at home or obtaining it from caregivers. Under current regulations, only patients who live further than 25 miles from a dispensary – as measured by a straight line, or “as the crow flies” – can grow cannabis. The new proposal would change it to 25 miles by roads, meaning more residents would qualify to cultivate their own marijuana at home or buy it from caregivers. While a victory for patients, the measure would take away some business from dispensaries.
– Updating the rules covering medical marijuana delivery services by specifying that a dispensary can not deliver to a public place. This would essentially prevent centers from delivering cannabis to “a spot in some other dispensary’s territory and have patients come to [them]” according to the Phoenix New Times.
– Lowering the annual cost of medical marijuana cards for low-income patients, veterans and seniors by $75. This would benefit the industry, giving these patients a little bit more money to spend on medical cannabis.
If approved, the changes would be implemented next year.
The proposals are part of a larger review of the state’s medical marijuana regulations, which was triggered by a court ruling that found some of aspects of state’s MMJ program are too restrictive.