May 31, 2011

Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Industry Trapped in Limbo, Thanks to Governor

This was supposed to be a big week for Arizona’s fledgling medical marijuana industry. The permit process for new dispensaries was officially set to begin this Wednesday – setting the gears in motion and paving the way for medical pot centers to open up in the state.

Notice how I’ve been using the past tense?

In the eleventh hour, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer issued an executive order to halt the permit process in conjunction with a coordinated move by the state’s attorney general to file a federal lawsuit seeking clarification on the legality of Arizona’s medical marijuana law . It seems that the state won’t begin issuing permits – or even start the approval process – until it gets a clear answer on “whether state employees could run into legal trouble under federal law, which doesn’t recognize the medical distinction,” according to this report in Newser.

That’s left would-be dispensary owners, suppliers and patients who paid for medical marijuana cards – and were excited about the possibility of a new drug for their pain – in limbo.

I can’t imagine that we will see a resolution to this in the near future. Many observers seem to think it’s a tactic by the governor to find justification to prevent dispensaries from opening and essentially squash the industry entirely.

While it’s understandable that the governor wants some clear direction from the federal government – which still bans medical marijuana – this last-minute move could indeed cripple the industry in Arizona. I feel bad for the entrepreneurs who spent a good deal of time, effort and money gearing up for this week. Some of them could be devastated financially if the permit process doesn’t begin soon, as they likely bypassed other opportunities to prepare to open their own stores.

It just shows how unpredictable – and unfair – this industry can be.

Chris Walsh is the editor of Medical Marijuana Business Daily

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.

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...]

South Dakota Tribe to Partner With Colorado Grower

native american cannabis

A South Dakota tribe announced this week that it is teaming up with a cannabis [click to continue...]

Startup Acquires Inventory Tracking Firm, Plans Banking Solution

A Los Angeles-based financial services startup backed by a notable investor announced Thursday that it [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily