It’s a big day for the emerging medical marijuana industry in Arizona.
Officials will conduct a lottery this morning to choose a dispensary for each of the Community Health Analysis Areas across the state.
Dubbed “Selection Tuesday,” the highly anticipated event will set the stage for the launch of dispensaries later this year. The state received 486 applications for medical marijuana dispensaries. It will allow one dispensary to open in each of the 126 designated Community Health Analysis Areas.
In many areas, more than one application was submitted. East Flagstaff, for instance, received a dozen applications, while Yavapai County Northeast received 14. Officials will select the winner in each area via a random drawing using ping pong balls. The lottery starts at 9 a.m. Pacific time and will run until about 1 p.m. You can watch it live online here and see the selection agenda here.
Each applicant was emailed the number of their ball ahead of the lottery. Those selected will receive a registration certificate after they complete the required paperwork.
The lottery comes just days after the majority of county attorneys in the state sent a letter asking Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to halt the program. The attorneys fear state employees working on the MMJ program could face federal prosecution. The governor – who actually delayed the dispensary licensing process last year over similar fears but lost a court battle on the issue – rejected the request.