January 13, 2012

Arizona to Move Forward With MMJ, Start Issuing Marijuana Dispensary Licenses After Long Delay

Arizona marijuana news, MMJ dispensaries and cananbis industry updates

It’s a great day for MMJ in Arizona…and for the entire medical cannabis industry.

After a nine-month delay that threatened to completely derail the state’s budding medical marijuana industry, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has directed Department of Health Services officials to “begin accepting and processing dispensary applications and issuing licenses for those facilities” in the near future.

The move will clear the way for the sale of medical marijuana in Arizona, allowing dispensaries to set up shop and begin serving registered patients. It will also significantly strengthen the entire U.S. MMJ industry – which has been battered in recent months – and generate millions of dollars in new revenues.

The directive comes just days after a federal judge threw out a lawsuit seeking clarification on whether state workers could be prosecuted for licensing dispensaries. Brewer – who has publicly opposed the idea of medical marijuana – filed the lawsuit in May, when she also put the ice on the dispensary licensing program. As a result, no dispensaries operate in the state, even though tens of thousands of residents have cards allowing them to use medical pot.

Many MMJ observers felt that Brewer filed the lawsuit to sidestep the state’s medical cannabis laws and dismantle the industry. To them, the governor’s justification for the lawsuit sounded strange, as no state employee in any other region of the country with MMJ laws had ever been prosecuted.

The judge overseeing the case agreed, ruling that the lawsuit had no merit because the state did not prove the federal government ever threatened state employees. Still, the judge left the door open to more legal action, saying that Arizona could refile the lawsuit with more evidence backing up its concerns.

Brewer said she will not refile but defended her actions in a letter she sent to the acting U.S. attorney for Arizona.

“”It is well-known that I did not support passage of (the state’s medical cannabis laws), and I remain concerned about potential abuses of the law,” Brewer said in a press release. “But the State’s legal challenge was based on my legitimate concern that state employees may find themselves at risk of federal prosecution for their role in administering dispensary licenses under this law.”

Brewer, however, also stressed that one of her top priorities remains protecting Arizona government workers from prosecution. “Know this: I won’t hesitate to halt state involvement in the (medical marijuana program) if I receive indication that state employees face prosecution due to their duties in administering this law,” she said.

Post Your Comment:


Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

Denver MJ Growers Major Contributor to Rise in Energy Use

Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]

Alaska Governor Names 5 to Marijuana Control Board

Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]

New York Could Reveal MMJ License Winners Soon

NewYorkMedicalMarijuana

The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]

50+ Medical Cannabis Business Applications Filed in MA

The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]

Oregon Rec Rules Materializing, Early Sales Possible

Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]

Rand Paul Brings in Six Figures at MJ Industry Fundraiser

Rand_Paul_official_portrait_with_flag_edit

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]

Hawaii Bill Establishing Dispensaries Likely to Become Law

Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]

Second MMJ Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania Legislature

In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]

Fifth New Jersey Dispensary Given Green Light

New Jersey medical cannabis, pot dispensary and marijuana industry news

And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]

Louisiana Gov Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]

New York Cannabis Firm Buys Oregon Utility Building for $3M

In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]

WA Moves Closer to Overhauling Marijuana Tax Structure

cannabis taxes

Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]

Sole MMJ Dispensary Opens in Delaware

Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]

Canadian Cultivator Tilray to Lay Off 61 Employees

Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily