People are asking me questions about Phoenix zoning that I cannot answer such as:

  • What is pre-registration, what does it mean and how does it work?
  • If I pre-register how does pre-registration relate to actual registration?
  • The application requires the applicant to list the location of all existing and/or pending medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation and infusion facilities within 5,280 feet (1 mile) of the applicant’s site.  Are you kidding?  How in the world would an applicant know the location of other sites that have not yet been approved by Phoenix zoning and that do not yet have DHS licenses?
  • The application requires the applicant to submit its operations procedures.  Excuse me!  What are operations procedures?  Arizona Department of Health Services doesn’t require operations procedures so why would Phoenix other than to create a pain in the nonprofit entity’s butt.
  • The application requires the applicant to submit a plot plan or survey showing compliance with the separation requirements.  Does this mean the applicant must hire a licensed surveyor to prepare a survey that shows the location is not too close to any thing?  Probably.  You will need a legal description of the site, which a surveyor can provide if it’s not easily obtainable.  Without a survey how are you going to determine if your location is more than:

1.  5,280 feet from existing and/or pending medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivation and infusion facilities

2.  1,320 feet from all preschool, kindergarten, elementary, secondary or high school, public park or public community center

3.  500 feet from all places of worship

4.  250 feet from any residence (for a dispensary)

5.  1,000 feet from any residence (for cultivation and infusion sites).  I thought the 1,000 foot setback was a typo because according to my calculations (which could be wrong because I’m a lawyer not a mathematician) the site would have to be at least 92 acres in size.  A 1,000 foot setback requires a square parcel to have four sides each 2,000 feet long, which is 4,000,000 square feet.  Are there any locations in Phoenix that have the necessary zoning and meet this setback requirement?

The application contains this confusing statement:

“Registrations that have expired are NON-RENEWABLE. A new registration for the proposed use shall not be accepted within thirty (30) days of the expiration date of the prior registration. A maximum one-time thirty (30) day extension may be granted to the applicant by the Zoning Administrator.”

Here are links to the actual Phoenix zoning documents:

For additional information, questions, or comments, please send an e-mail to [email protected]

I am not the only one who has a problem with Phoenix’ zoning ordinance and procedures.  See “Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals Threatens to Sue Phoenix Over Its Pre-registration Zoning Procedure.”