Listen to the audio of Steve Goldstein’s February 4, 2011,  interview of Will Humble and Andrew Myers on NPR, KJZZ (91.5 FM) radio.  Here is my summary of the interview.  Will Humble said:

  • Arizona Department of Health Services has three goals in drafting the rules.

1.  Disperse dispensaries so areas with fewer people will have better access to a dispensary

2.  Spread dispensaries throughout the state so as to minimize the ability of people to grow because they do not live within 25 miles of a dispensary

3.  Prevent the clustering of dispensaries in the urban core

  • Dispersing dispensaries throughout Arizona using the Community Health Analysis Area (CHAA) is the “perfect system”to accomplish these three objectives.
  • He doesn’t want to “overburden” communities with the clustering of a lot of dispensaries in one area because it creates problems.
  • DHS’ primary objective is to keep marijuana use for medicinal purposes rather than recreational use, which is what happened in several other states that legalized medical marijuana.  Twelve doctors in Colorado wrote 75 percent of recommendations.
  • DHS will go after doctors who primarily write for recreational users rather than for medicinal purposes.
  • No clue as to how many applications for dispensaries will be filed.
  • Ajo is in a desirable CHAA because it is an inexpensive place to grow even though the its CHAA a has small population.
  • Cities that adopted zoning before January 31, 2011, need to look at CHAA map and revisit their zoning to take the CHAAs into consideration.

Here’s my take on what Will Humble’s want-a-be-aid Andrew Myers said in the joint interview:

  • He loves the second draft of the rules.  Will Humble is awesome.
  • He is concerned about the selection process.  Myers wants dispensaries to picked by a “qualitative approach” instead of a lottery, but it could cause litigation.  AzMMA will propose a qualitative picking method.
  • When asked if he is concerned that the lottery process could result in the wrong people getting involved?  Myers said the selection process is very important.  A lottery encourages people to submit many applications.

At this point Will Humble added that the lottery selection method is his pragmatic choice.  ADHS’  budget was cut 43% over the last three years.  He doesn’t want ADHS  to be in a dispute resolution phase with people who think their application is better than another applicant that won a license.  ADHS doesn’t have the resources to examine every application and issue licenses based on quality of the applicant.

The interviewer asked the two men he was interviewing if there is any truth to allegations that Andrew Myers and the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association are in cahoots with Will Humble and ADHS.  Will said he learned that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it.  Andrew then said the allegation is ridiculous.  For more on this topic see “Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals Declares War on Arizona Department of Health Services, Marijuana Policy Project & the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association.”

To learn more about the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, read “What is the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association?