Ray Stern’s article in the Phoenix New Times is a must read for everybody who is interested in Arizona’s budding medical marijuana industry:

“What’s obvious to outsiders is that competition in the potential billion-dollar-industry already has become ember-hot. With only 124 dispensaries possible, the game has turned into something like Monopoly. In this variation, players must go around the board once, spending money yet buying nothing, before the final rules are known.”

“Dispensaries must be nonprofit. But pot shops in California are nonprofit, too, and this hasn’t stopped people from making small fortunes selling legal weed. Could the nonprofit business owners and their employees simply be paying themselves high salaries?  ‘Bingo,’ says Jamie Reyes, manager of the Inglewood Wellness Center in California.”

“Ramona Sanchez, spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Phoenix, refuses to say whether the DEA plans to bust people who buy, sell, or trade seeds that could be used to kick off Arizona’s medical pot program.  No part of the marijuana law, or any of the rules proposed so far, give direct guidance to entrepreneurs on how to create an initial product to sell to patients.”