Tucson Fees For Medical Marijuana Arizona Residents

Judge Jo Lynn Getty of the Maricopa County Superior Court is not disputing more is being collected from medical marijuana users by the Department of Health Services than necessary to administer the program. Capitol Media Services obtained documents showing the agency has collected fees of $19.9 million starting in June of this fiscal year. The expenses for this period were under $7.8 million. This leaves a roll over balance of more than $31 million.

According to Gentry, the only thing the Medical Marijuana Act indicates is the fees collected must sufficiently cover the costs associated with the program. This act was approved by the Arizona voters in 2010. The law does not say anything about more money being collected than what is required for the program. The judge has stated the lawsuit is essentially requesting her to adjust the fees to a level considered more reasonable.

Attorney Sean Berberian has stated he is planning to file for an appeal. He believes the reason the voters of Arizona voted to pass the AMMA was so legal access to medicine could be established. He does not believe the voters meant to create any unnecessary financial difficulties when the AMMA passed. Berberian stated the fees can be as high a $150 every year for the patients, and the caregivers who aid the patients can pay an additional $200. He feels this has created unlawful and unnecessary barriers for the patients. He additionally said these patients are trying to get medical marijuana because it has been recommended to them by their doctors.

According to the 2010 law, when an individual has a specific medical condition, and the recommendation of their physician, they can obtain a maximum of 2 ½ ounces of medical marijuana once every two weeks. The law also established a network of dispensaries regulated by the state to sell the drug.

The initiative did not please the elected officials in Arizona. At the time, Jan Brewer was the governor. She attempted to put a roadblock up to prevent the program from passing. She attempted to stop the state health director at the time, Will Humble, from granting licenses to the dispensaries. She claimed the state could not allow a drug to be sold that was illegal according to the federal law. The effort was unsuccessful, and 99 dispensaries in Arizona currently hold licenses to sell the drug.

Berberian spoke of other litigations and roadblocks questioning the requirements of the state regarding adding more conditions. This included whether marijuana could be sold for a child requiring a nonpsychoactive version of the drug in liquid form. Berberian argued by refusing to reduce fees, this was another indication of the hostility of the state regarding the program approved by the voters. The fight is about so much more than academics.

Berberian spoke of a patient named Lisa Becker with numerous ailments, who has been suffering for years. He stated she had been given four drugs for anti-nausea, and opiates for pain management by her physicians. Her need for opiates has been decreased by medical marijuana, her nausea has calmed down and she can once again eat solid food. The problem is she lives on $1,100 per month but must still pay the fee of $150. She has been forced to spend less money on medications or borrow the money she needs.

Yolanda Daniels is the other plaintiff with attorney S. White. She acts as her twelve-year-old granddaughter’s caregiver because the child has epilepsy. The marijuana has decreased the child’s seizures, but Daniels must pay $350 per year, $200 because she is a caregiver and $150 for the card her granddaughter requires.

The only way the court can determine if the AMMA and constitutional requirements are being met by the fees would be to control the AMMA’s administration from DHS. This would allow the courts to determine the operating budgets based on everything from litigation expenses to salaries. According to the law, these decisions must be made by the health department and not at the menu counter of a dispensary near me.

Tucson The Medical Marijuana Laws In Arizona

The Supreme Court of Arizona is not allowing local or state officials to thwart the sales of medical marijuana by hiding behind the federal drug laws. On Tuesday, the justices declined the review of the ruling by a Court of Appeals with no comment. The ruling stated the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act approved by the voters in 2010 was not trumped by the federal law. According to the lower court, medical marijuana is still considered a felony by federal law, but the state made the decision to decriminalize marijuana for some.

The ruling rebuffed the contentions that having zoning permits issued by county officials for medical marijuana dispensaries meant they were illegally abetting and aiding in violations of the federal law. The judges stated even though they reached this conclusion, there was nothing in their ruling or Arizona law to protect the medical marijuana users or the operators of the dispensaries from pursuit and prosecution under federal law by the federal authorities. The representation for the dispensary arguing the case was attorney Steven White. He stated for all intents and purposes this is not going to happen anytime soon. He said there was a budget provision inserted in 2015. This precludes the use of funds by the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute the medical marijuana providers in compliance with the laws of the state. This provision has been renewed through December 8th, after which Congress will be required to vote again.

As the attorney for Maricopa County in Tucson, Bill Montgomery is trying to use the federal law to prevent new dispensaries, and to cause the decision of the voters to legalize marijuana for medical use to be voided. The Supreme Court of Arizona ruled that all levels of Arizona’s judicial branches have failed to fulfil the oaths they made when they took office. This included every level from the trial court to the Court of Appeals to the states highest court of review. The law of 2010 allows all individuals with an ID card issued by the state and a physician’s recommendation to obtain a maximum of two ounces of marijuana once every two-weeks.

Prior to being able to issue the dispensaries permits, certification is required by the local government as to the sites zoning. Mountain Health wanted to locate in Sun City, but it is unincorporated. When they attempted to attain the certification from Phoenix, the officials received instructions not to respond from Montgomery. He said responding would make them guilty of federal law violations that prohibit the sale, possession or facilitation of marijuana. He said nothing the state does can preempt the federal law. Montgomery said the U.S. Constitution contains a supremacy law making the federal laws supreme. This law states every state must follow the law and everything in the constitution. When Judge Don Kessler wrote for the appellate court he said states are not prohibited by the federal Controlled Substances Act from passing their own laws regarding drugs.

According to the judge, the fact the possession and sale of medical marijuana has been legalized in Arizona immunizes the participants from prosecution according to Arizona law. He stated this is not a conflict with the federal law. This is due to the fact the federal government still enforces their laws.

6 Reasons Marijuana Is Good For Your Health with Cannabis Benefits

Opponents of marijuana smoking will often talk about it as if taking only a few hits of cannabis will ruin someone’s life. It begs the question:

Is it really harmful to smoke marijuana?

Scientists and dispensaries are beginning to study the effects of marijuana on human beings. They are beginning to understand that many positive health effects can be gained from the marijuana plant. Many people have begun to pay attention to what cannabis can do for their health.

Here are a few of the possible health effects that research is looking into when it comes to marijuana research.

1. Boost Your Brain Functionality

Research published in the journal “Consciousness and Cognition” suggests that creativity may increase in those who use marijuana. The study looked at a group of 150 subjects who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and divergent thinking. Participants smoked marijuana on one day and abstained on another day. Comparing the language tests they took on both days showed they were more eloquent on the day they smoked marijuana or CBD than on the day they were sober.

2. Control Your Weight

Even though smoking marijuana is associated with “getting the munchies,” i.e. having an increased appetite, studies suggest that marijuana smokers may actually be thinner on average than their non-smoking counterparts.

“Obesity,” a medical journal, published a study which reported that frequent marijuana smokers are thinner than non-smokers. The study looked at a group of 700 adults aged 18 to 74. On average, the marijuana smokers had lower body mass indexes than the non-smokers. Having an appropriate body mass index is associated with being at low risk for developing diabetes.

3. Enhance Your Lung Capacity

This effect may seem counterintuitive since cigarette smokers have high rates of lung problems, including lung cancer and emphysema. Smoking marijuana does not have the same negative effects on lung tissue that cigarette smoking has, though. A study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” suggested that the deep inhales taken while smoking cannabis may actually help increase the lung capacity of marijuana smokers.

4. Experience Fewer Side Effects Than Those Who Drink Alcohol

According to a study published in the journal “Scientific Reports,” alcohol is 114 times more dangerous to the human body than THC is. The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of several drugs, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, crystal meth, ecstacy, heroin, and tobacco. Cannabis was found to have fewer side effects than alcohol.

5. Get Help for Heroin Addiction

A Columbia University study looked at a group of individuals who were in treatment for heroin addiction. Of these study participants, those who smoked marijuana reported less anxiety, got a better quality of sleep, and had a greater chance of completing the treatment course than those who did not smoke marijuana. Other researchers have found that a drug containing the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, can reduce the symptoms of withdrawal from other drugs.

6. Kill Cancer Cells in the Lab

A study reported by the U.S. government reported that ingredients in marijuana can kill cancer cells in the laboratory. This experiment was done on animal cells, and there is no direct correlation between lab tests on animal cancer cells and cells in living human beings. Still, the experiment gave scientists enough evidence to suggest that the cancer cell-fighting effects of marijuana should be studied further.

Huge Merger of Phoenix Medical Cannabis and Scottsdale Marijuana Dispensaries in Arizona

A merger of Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries announced in July 2017 will make Harvest, the dispensary and retail company based in Tempe, Arizona, one of the state’s largest legal marijuana businesses. Some commentators predict Arizona consumers of medical marijuana will see lower prices as a result.

The merger comes about as wholesale supplier Modern Flower has agreed to merge with Harvest. Combined, the operation may be Arizona’s largest distributor of medicinal marijuana.

Harvest’s CEO Steve White says Harvest will operate a total of seven marijuana cultivation centers and eight dispensaries by January 2018. White says this allows for a consistent medicinal product to be sold to patients across various parts of the state.

The CEO went on to say that the merger would stimulate, rather than stifle, competition. White said Harvest would influence competitors by lowering the price of its products. He noted that an increase in the number of wholesalers and cultivators was already set to lower the price of the product in 2018.

Per the Arizona governing body that licenses and administrates the medical marijuana dispensary program, its Department of Health Services, as of 2017 Arizona had 98 legal dispensaries in operation. The state granted additional licenses in October 2016, bringing the total number of licenses to 130. New growing facilities and dispensaries are expected to open in the next year.

Steve White predicts that in 2018, the number of marijuana buds produced will outstrip the demand by patients in the state. This, White contends, will contribute to a falling price for consumers.

Modern Flower and Harvest’s merger is part of a larger consolidation trend seen in the dispensary and growing companies across Arizona. Although medicinal marijuana is still prohibited by federal law, Arizona’s dispensaries are a prime example of how mainstream the medical marijuana industry has become since statewide legalization.

Washington D.C. and 25 states have some degree of marijuana legalization despite federal law. The industry generates billions of dollars per year, and Forbes Magazine has noted that by 2020, more Americans will work in the marijuana industry than in the manufacturing sector.

Robert Carp, a retired attorney who writes marijuana business guides, agrees with White’s proposition that the merger will likely lower the prices for patients. Carp remarked that in agriculture, pricing is “generally a race to the bottom.”

Having multiple growing facilities allows for economies of scale that Harvest couldn’t realize previously, Carp said. The merger should allow the company to increase its cost efficiency and pass its savings along to patients.

Because of the secrecy built into the industry, it’s difficult to tell if the Modern Flower-Harvest merger makes Harvest the largest dispensary company in Arizona. According to a 2010 Arizona law, medical marijuana dispensaries are exempt from public records laws. This protects the identities of both patients and the not-for-profit boards in charge of the dispensaries.

Arizona law specifies that Scottsdale dispensary businesses be run by a board of directors and operated as a non-profit organization in order to obtain a license. Licensed dispensaries can cultivate their own botanicals or use the services of a wholesaler. Although Arizona  licenses can’t legally be sold or transferred, companies are allowed to cede a portion on their oversight to a management company.

This is basically what the Modern Flower-Harvest merger entails. Steve White serves on the non-profit board of Harvest. The company plans to add more retail outlets and triple its number of employees by the end of 2018. White encourages those seeking jobs to apply through the Harvest website.

Harvest is currently seeking licenses in Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. It currently employs about 100 people but hopes to employ up to 300 in the next year. White was quoted as saying, “We are fortunate to be adding employees with similar 420 friendly values.”

Recreational Medical Marijuana in Nevada Paves way for Arizona Legal Weed


With every passing day, it is getting increasingly easier to prefer a summer trip to Las Vegas and Reno to many other destinations.
The Las Vegas recreational weed Sun reports that, on Monday, the Nevada tax commission voted for the licensing of qualified medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling pot meant for recreational purposes starting July 1.

The commission intends to beat a January 1 deadline to draft regulations regarding the sales of recreational dispensaries providing marijuana. It has, however, decided to give new provisional licenses to shops that meet the qualifications to act as a trial before the program is fully implemented in 2018.

Officials reiterated their desire to adopt regulations so as to meet Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget request to rake in $70 million from recreational marijuana taxes in the next two years.

Nevada’s tax department director Deonne Contine said that if these regulations are not adopted, the temporary program will most likely not come to pass and, consequently, the revenue included in the governor’s budget will be difficult to realize.

When this Nevada law comes into effect, adults will be allowed to buy as much as one ounce of marijuana or an eighth ounce of concentrates. People will also have the freedom to plant a maximum of six marijuana plants for personal use.

The legalization of recreational marijuana sales will not have come at a better time for major players in the weed industry, most of whom have reiterated their gratification.Steven White, who owns The Source dispensaries, told the Las Vegas dispensary Review-Journal that this is great news for the state, the industry and for everybody as well.

Dispensary Ahwatukee

Ahwatukee Dispensary Upsets AZ Schools

Ahwatukee AZ Dispensary Upsets Schools


Upset Brews Upon Plans For A Pot Dispensary Near A Local Preschool

The community surrounding an Ahwatukee preschool is up in arms as of late after learning of the potential for a pot dispensary in the works nearby. Recent news surfaced regarding the apparent award from the state for a license allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to be located just under 10 feet away from the playground of said preschool.

Once the news started to circulate, the controversy has been growing amidst the neighborhood and the surrounding area. However, there is, even more, mystery and intrigue that is following this story.

Neighboring residents, businesses and the leaders of the Grace Garden Christian Preschool were floored when learning that the Department of Health Services in the state had granted the dispensary license for the nearby building that is currently the location for an oil change garage, Valvoline Express Care.

The kicker here is that they are not even sure who may have received the license, or why they got it.

Director of the preschool, Catherine Thomson, noted that she was in total shock after learning about the grant to open the medical marijuana Ahwatukee dispensary. She recently held a meeting with concerned neighbors and parents as a way to strategize on how they could begin fighting the development of the dispensary.

The Grace Garden Christian Preschool has been a solid part of the community for 14 years, and it is located just a few hundred feet from the local church that has 600 active members. Close by; there is a thriving strip mall enjoyed by the neighborhood, as well as another preschool. It happens to be located just one block away from a building that is currently housing yet another medical marijuana dispensary.

Catherine Thomson noted that they are not opposed to the use and dispensing of medical marijuana, however, the issue is more as to the location itself. If the laws state that it is not okay for any dispensary to be positioned right next to a daycare facility or a school, then it should not be able to go in right up against a preschool, right?

The preschool director is not the only person posed this very same question.

The Department of Health Services is where the mystery truly begins. A spokeswoman for the DHS put out a statement saying that any dispensary licenses are never supposed to be public record. She was unable to confirm even if there was a license that had been approved for the building in question.

The office for the Councilman Sal DiCiccio is also puzzled about these events. Chief of Staff for the Office of the Councilman, Rana Lashgari, talked with the dispensary Ahwatukee group and told them that as of now, there is nobody that has even applied for any zoning permit to be able to run such a dispensary at the address that is in question. She went on further to say that the staff for Councilman DiCiccio had been working to determine exactly who owns the building and why the permit had been issued in the first place.

She told the group that the office cares and understands the concern and that they have someone who is assigned solely to this case. This is a process that has a lot of oversight, but they are confident that it is not going to slip through the cracks.

Lashgari noted that once anyone applies for a zoning permit, they have to state the information on the front door of whatever building where the business is set to be. There will also be several hearings that need to take place before some local governing entities.

With the group of approximately 20 Ahwatukee dispensary people that gathered for the recent meeting, many are convinced that the person who must have obtained the license has deep pockets, seeing how that such licenses would be worth a lot of revenue dollars for the individuals or companies that possess them.

Local neighbors, many of which are advocates of the use of medical marijuana, noted that this is more of a matter of corruption and crime on a corporate level. The worry is that the group, or individual, who obtained the license can get around all of the zoning laws and local government by way of high-paid lawyers.

The fear is that many parents may pull their students from the schools in the area, as the will not be able to function without the parental support and fundraising throughout the year.

License applications for the dispensary cost a non-refundable fee of $5,000. There have been numerous other businesses that have applied for the same licenses, and many are still not approved.

Arizona’s First Million-Dollar Marijuana Dispensary Scottsdale Harvest of AZ

Scottsdale Arizona’s Newest Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Harvest of Scottsdale, Arizona’s first million-dollar medical marijuana dispensary, opened on September 23rd of last year, celebrating with a grand opening weekend that included tours of the facility. Harvest already had a location in Tempe; the Scottsdale location will serve patients in the Phoenix area.

“Every penny of this project was spent with the patients in mind,” said Steve White, Harvest Inc.’s CEO. The goal was to create an environment where patients can ask questions and get their medical needs addressed.

Harvest of Scottsdale certainly accomplishes that goal. The 6,800 square-foot facility is located in a renovated former bank building, but it wouldn’t be out of place in an upscale shopping center. Harvest of Scottsdale boasts glossy walls, ultra-modern furniture, and a sleek patient service center. A selection of the marijuana strains available sits perched on one wall, and includes variants like Northern Lights, Moe OG, and True X, a premium strain. Harvest also offers a variety of edibles – yes, brownies are on the menu – pre-rolls, and tinctures. There are routine specials for new patients.

Why Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is gaining increased acceptance around the country as more and more research confirms its benefits for chronic illnesses like epilepsy and cancer. Leading pathologists, like the Stanford-educated Dr. Margaret Gedde, have recommended children for marijuana. Some families, calling themselves “marijuana refugees,” have even moved to states like Colorado after hearing how much medical marijuana has curbed serious childhood seizures. However, widespread legalization efforts are making it easier and easier for patients to get the medical marijuana they need.

Part of the medical marijuana conversation is also making sure that patients understand their rights and responsibilities. Harvest of Scottsdale has a team of dedicated patient advisors on hand to answer any questions, no matter how complex or obscure. For instance, medical marijuana dispensaries require a Medical Marijuana Patient Card, which involves straightforward but time-consuming paperwork. Harvest of Scottsdale also offers educational programs to increase awareness and promote safe medical marijuana consumption.

About Harvest

Harvest is seeking to change the dialogue around medical marijuana with a patient-focused approach and an emphasis on education and safety: all medicine has to meet stringent quality-control guidelines. Harvest’s Tempe location has been recognized with four Best Dispensary awards in Arizona. As the medical marijuana industry continues to grow, Harvest is committed to growing with it.

Arizona Dispensaries Face Legal Challenges with the State

Arizona Works to Get Marijuana Dispensaries Up and Running


The Arizona Department of Health Services says that they’re continuing to work to get marijuana dispensaries up and running in the state as quickly as possible. Legal challenges briefly delayed the Department’s roll out of rules for selecting and prioritizing dispensary applicants. The Department has decided not to appeal a court decision striking down some parts of their proposed selection criteria. The decision not to appeal allows the Department to continue to move forward in the licensing process as it works to implement the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Specifically, the court struck down regulations that allowed the Department to refuse applications from people who have not been an Arizona resident for at least three years. They also can’t refuse an applicant based on previous business or personal bankruptcies. They can’t refuse applicants because they’re not current on child support payments.

The court said that these regulations change the original law too much to be acceptable. Now that the matter is settled, the Department plans to begin accepting dispensary applications. They say that it takes up to forty-five days to make a decision about an application, so dispensaries can have licenses by mid summer and start operating shortly after that.

Even though the Arizona courts struck down parts of the Department’s proposed application process, dispensary applicants still need to show plans for medical oversight, patient access to information, a business plan and a statement from a local authority that the proposed dispensary complies with zoning rules. Authorities still hope that the licensing process works to spread dispensaries in the state in a way that meets patient need and demand. That is, they hope to approve dispensaries in both rural and urban areas.

The Department keeps statistical information for current medical marijuana patients. This information has helped the state track how many patients there are and where they live. The Department publishes this information in a monthly report. The state hopes that this statistical information can help the state make informed decisions about licensing decisions in an effort to keep patients throughout the state supplied with marijuana.