Director of Arizona Department of Health Services Not Worried About Being Charged with Violating Federal Marijuana Criminal Laws

In an April 29, 2011, forum at the Phoenix Country Club sponsored by Valley Partnership, Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said that he personally is not worried that he might be prosecuted by the federal government for aidding and abetting the commission of crimes involving federal marijuana criminal laws.  He made the statement in response to a question that asked him to comment on the April 14, 2011, letter from the two Washington state U.S. Attorneys to the Governor of Washington who asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder if the U.S. would prosecute Washington state employees who implement Washington’s recently enacted medical marijuana law that provides for the creation of state legal medical marijuana dispensaries.

In an April 13, 2011, letter to the U.S. Attorney General, Washington Governor Christine 0. Gregoire asked:

“It would be very helpful to receive clear guidance on the Department of Justice enforcement position and whether the 2009 Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Ogden should be read to encompass the activities that would be licensed under this state legislation. Also, it would be helpful if the guidance addressed whether state employees involved in inspecting the premises, auditing the records or collecting fees from the licensed dispensers, producers or processors would be immune from arrest or liability when engaged in the enforcement of this licensing law.”

The next day, Jenny A. Durkan, United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, and Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, sent Governor Gregoire a letter in which they said:

“the Department could consider civil and criminal legal remedies regarding those who set up marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries as they will be doing so in violation of federal law. Others who knowingly facilitate the actions of the licensees, including property owners, landlords, and financiers should also know that their conduct violates federal law. In addition, state employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability under the CSA. Potential actions the Department could consider include injunctive actions to prevent cultivation and distribution of marijuana and other associated violations of the CSA; civil fines; criminal prosecution; and the forfeiture of any property used to facilitate a violation of the CSA”

Mr. Humble said he is concerned about the affect the U.S. Attorney letters and news stories might have on DHS employees involved in implementing Arizona’s medical marijuana laws, especially DHS IT personnel.

Here are my notes from the one hour forum.

  • Phoenix Planning Director Debra Stark gave a list of zoning jurisdictions that require special zoning documents and those that do not.  The following do not require either a use permit, a conditional use permit or a special use permit:  Glendale, Surprise, Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale, Mesa, Tempe, Fountain Hills, Tucson and Flagstaff.  The following require either a UP, a CUP or a SUP: Peoria, El Mirage, Carefree, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix and Maricopa County.  After the forum I asked her how long it would take for a prospective dispensary to get the comfort letter from the Phoenix zoning department.  She said five days, but the letter would say that it is subject to the applicant obtaining a special use permit before opening for business.
  • Will Humble said that a financial institution can issue the bank comfort letter if the not-for-profit entity or one of its principal officers has $150,000 or more of cash on deposit, a $150,000 letter of credit or gold valued at at least $150,000.
  • When asked who DHS would consider to be the ideal owner of an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary, Will Humble said it is an owner whose primary concern is to do what is in the best interest of the patients.
  • Will Humble made a statement about the duties of the medical director that troubled me.  He said that the medical director has a duty / responsibility to make sure that patients of the dispensary do not abuse marijuana.  The DHS rules prohibit the medical director from having a patient doctor relationship.  How would it be possible for a medical director who is not present at the time of a sale or interaction between dispensary staff and the patient who is abusing marijuana to know: (i) about the abuse, or (ii) to take any action to prevent or help stop the abuse?

See “Washington Legislature Passes New Medical-marijuana Law, Governor Threatens Veto” and “U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Dispensary Owners, Landlords who Rent to Dispensaries & State Employees Involved in State Medical Marijuana Laws.”

By |2011-05-01T07:19:00-07:00April 30th, 2011|Stories & Articles, Will Humble Speaks|Comments Off on Director of Arizona Department of Health Services Not Worried About Being Charged with Violating Federal Marijuana Criminal Laws

Federal Agents Raid Spokane Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

MSNBC.com:  “Federal agents are raiding several medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane, following a warning from the top federal prosecutor there that such operations are illegal.”  See “U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Dispensary Owners, Landlords who Rent to Dispensaries & State Employees Involved in State Medical Marijuana Laws” and “WA US Attorney Says Marijuana Dispensaries / Stores Violate Federal Law.”

By |2015-04-06T18:51:47-07:00April 30th, 2011|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Federal Agents Raid Spokane Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Alan Sobol Says “You Are Being SCAMMED!”

Alan Sobol:  “AZDHS will start accepting  Dispensary applications during the month of June 2011.  This gives applicants a maximum of 75 days or less from the date of publication of the Final Rules to obtain zoning approval, which in most cases is virtually impossible. . . . Under Title 36, only the Arizona Health Department is authorized to select the Dispensary owners.  Under the aforementioned scenario,  it appears that AZDHS has deferred its authority to select the Dispensary owners to the City of Scottsdale . . . . This is a scenario that will be repeated all across Arizona.  This is a scam!!

By |2015-04-06T18:51:47-07:00April 30th, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Alan Sobol Says “You Are Being SCAMMED!”

Chandler OKs Medical-marijuana Cultivation Site

Arizona Republic:  “The Chandler City Council Thursday night said no to a medical-marijuana dispensary at Dobson and Frye roads, but it said yes to growing the drug indoors south of Chandler Boulevard and east of 56th Street.  The cultivation site will be at 6730 W. Chicago St., in west Chandler near I-10, if the applicant wins state approval. That city permit had been requested by Arizona Organix, a non-profit corporation run by Phoenix resident Bill Myer, who owns a real estate license, and his son, Ben, a 2005 graduate of Arizona State University.”

By |2011-04-30T08:27:07-07:00April 30th, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Chandler OKs Medical-marijuana Cultivation Site

Washington Governor Vetoes Most of Medical Marijuana Bill

Seattle Times:  “Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a landmark expansion of the state’s medical marijuana law Friday, saying the bill would potentially put state employees at risk of federal prosecution.”  See “Gregoire vetoes portions of medical marijuana bill.”

By |2017-02-12T07:38:38-07:00April 29th, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Washington Governor Vetoes Most of Medical Marijuana Bill

Scottsdale OKs Its First Medical-marijuana Dispensary

Arizona Republic:  “The City Council has approved Scottsdale’s first permit for a medical-marijuana dispensary.  The Virtue Center, 7301 E. Evans Road, in the Scottsdale Airpark, would supply medical marijuana and provide consultations to patients. The planned 1,500-square-foot dispensary is northeast of Thunderbird and Scottsdale roads in north Scottsdale.”

By |2012-08-18T10:09:53-07:00April 29th, 2011|Stories & Articles, Zoning|Comments Off on Scottsdale OKs Its First Medical-marijuana Dispensary

Tempe OKs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Sites

Arizona Republic:  “Tempe’s central Valley location and proximity to the nation’s largest university campus at 58,371 students has turned the 41-square mile city into a magnet for medical-marijuana entrepreneurs.  Although the state has only approved Tempe for two medical marijuana dispensaries, the city’s zoning department has received 48 applications.”  See the addresses approved by Tempe for dispensaries to date.

By |2012-08-18T10:16:40-07:00April 29th, 2011|Stories & Articles, Zoning|Comments Off on Tempe OKs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Sites

Agents Raid Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Seattle Times:  “Medical marijuana activists across Washington state decried federal raids on at least two dispensaries in Spokane on Thursday, saying they underscored the need for a dispensary licensing system that the governor has threatened to veto.  The raids came Thursday afternoon, three weeks after the top federal prosecutor in Eastern Washington, Spokane U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby, warned the 40 dispensaries in the area that they should close up shop or face federal enforcement actions.”

By |2015-04-06T18:51:47-07:00April 29th, 2011|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Agents Raid Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Washington Legislature Passes New Medical-marijuana Law, Governor Threatens Veto

Seattle Times:  “The Legislature passed a major overhaul of the state’s medical-marijuana law on Thursday despite a veto threat by the governor, a measure that would for the first time protect some patients from being arrested and create a system for licensing storefront dispensaries and grow operations. . . . But Gov. Chris Gregoire reiterated her opposition to the licensing scheme, saying she won’t sign it because state workers could be held liable for violating federal law”

The Washington Governor wrote a letter dated April 13, 2011, to Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States.  The following day, the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington responded to the Governor’s letter.  Interesting to note that the Department of Justice responded to the Washington Governor’s request the before the U.S. mail could have delivered the letter to Eric Holder, but it has not yet responded to a similar request from the New Jersey Attorney General.  See “N.J. Attorney General asks Obama Administration if N.J. Medical Marijuana Program Violates U.S. Law.”  The text of Governor Christine Gregoir’s April 13, 2011, letter follows.

April 13, 20 11

The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania A venue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Attorney General Holder:

This letter requests written guidance on the Department of Justice’s position on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act if state law were to establish a regulatory system wherein state officials license persons to dispense, produce, and process marijuana for medical use by qualifying patients. By way of background, in 1998 the voters of the state of Washington determined that patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses, under their physician’s care, who may benefit from the use of medical marijuana, would not be guilty of a crime under state law for their possession and limited use of marijuana. It is our understanding that the Department of Justice does not focus its resources on individuals who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law, as outlined in an October 2009 Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Ogden.

The Washington Legislature, concerned with a lack of sufficient and safe supply of medical marijuana, has under consideration Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5073. This legislation would provide for the Departments of Health and Agriculture to license persons to dispense, produce, and process cannabis for medical use. Licensed dispensers would select, measure, package, and label cannabis for delivery or retail sale to a qualifying patient or designated provider. Licensed processors would manufacture, process, handle, and label cannabis products for wholesale distribution to licensed dispensers. Licensed producers would produce cannabis for medical use for wholesale distribution to licensed dispensers and licensed processors of cannabis products.

In recent days I have been in contact with the United States Attorneys for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington regarding this legislation. They referenced a February 1, 2011, letter that the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California wrote to the Oakland City Attorney in response to a request for guidance on the City of Oakland Medical Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance. The letter indicated that the Department of Justice would enforce the Controlled Substances Act against individuals and organizations that market and sell marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law, consistent with the guidance set forth in the 2009 Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Ogden.

Within the next week lawmakers will be considering the differing versions of this legislation and determining what provisions of state law they will enact and forward to me, as Governor, for approval or disapproval. It would be very helpful to receive clear guidance on the Department of Justice enforcement position and whether the 2009 Memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Ogden should be read to encompass the activities that would be licensed under this state legislation. Also, it would be helpful if the guidance addressed whether state employees involved in inspecting the premises, auditing the records or collecting fees from the licensed dispensers, producers or processors would be immune from arrest or liability when engaged in the enforcement of this licensing law.

Thank you for your assistance as we make these important decisions.

Sincerely,

Christine 0. Gregoire
Governor

To read the U.S. Attorney’s response to this letter see “U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Dispensary Owners, Landlords who Rent to Dispensaries & State Employees Involved in State Medical Marijuana Laws.”

By |2017-02-12T07:38:38-07:00April 28th, 2011|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Washington Legislature Passes New Medical-marijuana Law, Governor Threatens Veto

U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Dispensary Owners, Landlords who Rent to Dispensaries & State Employees Involved in State Medical Marijuana Laws

On April 13, 2011, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him if Washington state employees would be prosecuted for implementing Washington’s new medical marijuana law.  The next day, April 14, 2011, the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington sent a letter to the Governor of Washington that contains a clear statement that the U.S. Attorney will prosecute people involved in the medical marijuana industry, including state workers who implement or oversee state medical marijuana laws.  The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, Melinda Haag, sent a letter dated February 1, 2011, to the City of Oakland that also said that she would prosecute people involved in the “industrial growing of marijuana.”

These three U.S. Attorneys each said that they consulted with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about the state legal medical marijuana issue and that their letters state the U.S. Attorney General’s position   From these two recent letters it is apparent that the Department of Justice is giving a clear warning to everybody in the state legal medical marijuana business other than patients and caregivers that they risk prosecution for violating federal criminal laws involving marijuana.  DHS are you listening?  The text of the letter follows.

April 14, 2011

Honorable Christine Gregoire
Washington State Governor
P.O. Box 40002
Olympia, Washington 98504-0002

Re: Medical Marijuana Legislative Proposals

Dear Honorable Governor Gregoire:

We write in response to your letter dated April 13, 20 11, seeking guidance from the Attorney General and our two offices concerning the practical effect of the legislation currently being considered by the Washington State Legislature concerning medical marijuana. We understand that the proposals being considered by the Legislature would establish a licensing scheme for marijuana growers and dispensaries, and for processors of marijuana-infused foods among other provisions. We have consulted with the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General about the proposed legislation. This letter is written to ensure there is no confusion regarding the Department of Justice’s view of such a licensing scheme.

As the Department has stated on many occasions, Congress has determined that marijuana is a controlled substance. Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, as such, growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws permitting such activities.

The prosecution of individuals and organizations involved in the trade of any illegal drugs and the disruption of drug trafficking organizations is a core priority of the Department. This core priority includes prosecution of business enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana. Accordingly, while the Department does not focus its limited resources on seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law as stated in the October 2009 Ogden Memorandum, we maintain the authority to enforce the CSA vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law. The Department’s investigative and prosecutorial resources will continue to be directed toward these objectives.

Consistent with federal law, the Department maintains the authority to pursue criminal or civil actions for any CSA violations whenever the Department determines that such legal action is warranted. This includes, but is not limited to, actions to enforce the criminal provisions of the CSA such as:

– 21 U.S.C. § 841 (making it illegal to manufacture, distribute, or possess with intent to distribute any controlled substance including marijuana);

– 21 U.S.C. § 856 (making it unlawful to knowingly open, lease, rent, maintain, or use property for the manufacturing, storing, or distribution of controlled substances);

– 21 U.S.C. § 860 (making it unlawful to distribute or manufacture controlled substances within 1,000 feet of schools, colleges, playgrounds, and public housing facilities, and within 100 feet of any youth centers, public swimming pools, and video arcade facilities);

– 21 U.S.C. § 843 (making it unlawful to use any communication facility to commit felony violations of the CSA); and

– 21 U.S.C. § 846 (making it illegal to conspire to commit any of the crimes set forth in the CSA).

In addition, Federal money laundering and related statutes which prohibit a variety of different types of financial activity involving the movement of drug proceeds may likewise be utilized. The Government may also pursue civil injunctions, and the forfeiture of drug proceeds, property traceable to such proceeds, and property used to facilitate drug violations.

The Washington legislative proposals will create a licensing scheme that permits large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution. This would authorize conduct contrary to federal law and thus, would undermine the federal government’s efforts to regulate the possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of controlled substances. Accordingly, the Department could consider civil and criminal legal remedies regarding those who set up marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries as they will be doing so in violation of federal law. Others who knowingly facilitate the actions of the licensees, including property owners, landlords, and financiers should also know that their conduct violates federal law. In addition, state employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability under the CSA. Potential actions the Department could consider include injunctive actions to prevent cultivation and distribution of marijuana and other associated violations of the CSA; civil fines; criminal prosecution; and the forfeiture of any property used to facilitate a violation of the CSA. As the Attorney General has repeatedly stated, the Department of Justice remains firmly committed to enforcing the CSA in all states.

We hope this letter assists the State of Washington and potential licensees in making informed decisions regarding the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana.

Very truly yours,

Jenny A. Durkan
United States Attorney
Western District of Washington

Michael C. Ormsby
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Washington

By |2012-05-12T15:24:06-07:00April 27th, 2011|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Dispensary Owners, Landlords who Rent to Dispensaries & State Employees Involved in State Medical Marijuana Laws

WA US Attorney Says Marijuana Dispensaries / Stores Violate Federal Law

Here is the text of a press release issued on April 6, 2011, by U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby (Eastern District of Washington):

Spokane – Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that he has notified landlords that marijuana stores are illegal and warned them of the penalties they may face. Marijuana continues to be prohibited by federal law and specifically marijuana stores are subject to enforcement action and stringent federal penalties. Under federal law, the possession or distribution of marijuana remains illegal, despite state law.

In 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration thoroughly analyzed the relevant medical, scientific, and abuse data and concluded that marijuana continues to meet the criteria for placement in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The Food and Drug Administration reiterated this determination in April 2006, stating in a news release:

Marijuana is listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the most restrictive schedule. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which administers the CSA, continues to support that placement and FDA concurred because marijuana met the three criteria for placement in Schedule I under 21 U.S.C. 812(b)(1) (e.g., marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and has a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision). Furthermore, there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful. A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use. There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.

* * *

FDA has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease indication.

* * *

Accordingly, FDA, as the federal agency responsible for reviewing the safety and efficacy of drugs, DEA as the federal agency charged with enforcing the CSA, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the federal coordinator of drug control policy, do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy supports multi-faceted prevention and treatment programs and firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana and all illegal drug use.

The voters approved a ballot initiative in 1998, which removed the state-level criminal penalties for physician prescribed marijuana. In November 2008, the state adopted a rule that authorized a 60 day supply of no more than 24 ounces and no more than 15 plants of marijuana. “The proliferation of marijuana stores, which are not authorized under state law, suggests that drug traffickers are attempting to avoid application of state law through the use of these stores,” U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby stated. “Drug traffickers cannot hide behind the law by simply claiming they are medical marijuana stores,” said Mr. Ormsby. According to information gathered by drug enforcement authorities, there are currently over 40 stores in Spokane County alone, more than any other county in the State. Many of these stores are located close to schools, parks, and playgrounds where children are often present. “Additionally, many of these stores are conducting a high volume, high dollar business, far from the allegations of the operators that they are furnishing marijuana to “patients” with debilitating medical conditions,” added Mr. Ormsby.

Our goal is to first seek voluntary compliance with the law by notifying property owners of the non-conforming use of their property, with the expectation that they take appropriate action. If they do not, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will determine the appropriate law enforcement response, which could include the forfeiture of the property used to facilitate the crimes,” said Mr. Ormsby.

There are two targets to our enforcement action; the operators of the stores and the owners of the real property where the stores operate. The property owners have been notified of the penalties associated with renting property to those operating the stores, as they may be unaware of the ramifications of such action. Mr. Ormsby said he hopes that notice to the landlords will lead to voluntary compliance and eviction of those illegally distributing marijuana.

On the other hand, “we are preparing for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores,” Mr. Ormsby said. “We intend to use the full extent of our legal remedies to enforce the law.”

Here’s a link to the actual press release.

See “U.S. Attorney Will Prosecute Dispensary Owners, Landlords who Rent to Dispensaries & State Employees Involved in State Medical Marijuana Laws.”

By |2015-04-06T18:51:47-07:00April 27th, 2011|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on WA US Attorney Says Marijuana Dispensaries / Stores Violate Federal Law

WA US Attorney Threatens Crackdown if Medical-pot Makeover Becomes Law in WA

Seattle Times:  “Washington’s top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if the state goes forward with a proposal to legalize medical-marijuana dispensaries and growers, putting in jeopardy a bill that has already passed both chambers of the Legislature.  In a letter to Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane wrote that the bill would undermine drug enforcement and could result in an array of prosecutions or civil penalties against dispensary owners and growers, as well as against state regulators enforcing the proposed law.”

See “WA US Attorneys Say Marijuana Dispensaries / Stores Violate Federal Law.

When, if ever, will the U.S. Attorney for Arizona tell the potential medical marijuana patients, caregivers, dispensaries and others in Arizona’s newest industry that they are safe from federal criminal prosecution if the strictly comply with Arizona’s medical marijuana laws and rules or that they will be prosecuted despite the fact they comply with Arizona’s laws and rules?

By |2012-05-12T15:24:31-07:00April 27th, 2011|Federal Dispensary Attacks, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on WA US Attorney Threatens Crackdown if Medical-pot Makeover Becomes Law in WA

Paradise Valley Panel Backs Permit for Medical Pot Dispensary

Arizona Republic:  “The Paradise Valley Planning Commission has recommended approval of a special-use permit for a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in town.  Mountain View Medical Center, on the southeastern corner of Tatum and Shea boulevards, is one step closer to having a tenant that can legally dispense marijuana.”

By |2012-08-18T09:44:06-07:00April 27th, 2011|Stories & Articles, Zoning|Comments Off on Paradise Valley Panel Backs Permit for Medical Pot Dispensary

Good Planning Reduces Risk – and Insurance Costs

Your medical marijuana dispensary, grow site or infused product facility’s design, interior layout and security measures all affect your insurance costs. Reducing risk by incorporating certain safety and security elements into your site plan(s) will create a safer environment for customers and staff while earning you discount credits from underwriters.

The same is true for the operational aspects of your business – for example, how employees are hired and trained can minimize the chances of general and professional liability claims, while customer theft and employee dishonesty losses can be significantly reduced with good policies, procedures, and inventory control practices.  How you bring infused products to market also requires careful consideration.

Following is a list of advisable security measures; while some are required by ADHS, others represent best practices that will make insuring your business easier and more affordable.

Dispensaries

1. Building envelope security

All windows and doors connected to 24 hour centrally-monitored alarm
Bars security film or roll down steel covers on windows
Metal doors
Lighting of parking lot and building
24 hour video surveillance, with video kept a minimum of 30 calendar days
Battery back up system for cameras
Structural and/or operational means to ensure that medicine off-loading is discreet and safe

2. Interior Security

Video cameras at point of sale, with video kept a minimum of 30 calendar days
Battery back up system for cameras
Man trap or other controlled entry (can be done in an aesthetic way)
Multiple panic buttons, easily accessible by staff
Safes and Vaults:
800-2000+ lb safe w/ 1 hour fire rating (in-ground safe better)
Safes under 2000lbs must be bolted to ground for theft coverage
Refrigerated walk-in coolers can qualify as a safe if 1 hour fire rated with well-secured door
Cargo or shipping containers may be acceptable as safes (get prior approval from your agent)
Occupying entire building preferred
Show cases should be of locking type (dispensing machines also good)
Major percentage of medicine must always be kept in a safe in private, locked room
FlashFog or similar security system

Cultivation Sites

1. Building Envelope Security

Same as for Dispensaries, including discreet medicine loading access

2. Interior Security

Multiple panic buttons, easily accessible by staff
24 hour video surveillance capable of identifying any activity occurring in low light conditions, with video kept a minimum of 30 calendar days
Battery back up system for cameras
Letter by Licensed Electrical Contractor stating system is sufficient for load
Back-up system for electrical supply
Automatic Water Shut Off Valve for timer-operated watering systems
Measures to ensure constant temperature
Measures to ensure constant humidity

3. Operational Security

Money handling – methods minimizing cash transactions preferred
Staff – Drug and Background Screened prior to hiring?
Oaksterdam University Graduates preferred – ask your agent
Security Personnel – Employed & Unarmed preferred
Staff and Security: Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) coverage
Laboratory Testing on 100% of all products
Directors & Officers insurance for Board Members
Trade Association membership may qualify discount – ask your agent

Infused and Manufactured Products

Underwriters assessing Products Liability risks consider:

All products manufactured, sold or distributed
Labels, website text and other marketing material, to include:
Nutritional Facts, Ingredients, and Measurement of THC
Will any vendor repackage, relabel or modify your product?  If so, list all products manufactured by you but sold by another entity.
Who are your top customers?
Is there a written products recall plan?
Any new products to be introduced in the next 12 months?
Can your products be identified from those of your competitors?
Could your products or services be used on or in connection with other products?
Any Hold Harmless Agreements/Warranties/Guarantees with others?
Products tested and labeled to meet government or industry standards?
Do you belong to any industry-product standard organizations?
Do you have a written loss-control program in effect?
Do you have a written quality control procedure?

In short, good risk management lessens the potential for loss to you and your insurer. Consult a MMJ speciality agent now to find out how to obtain discount credits for your business and site plans, increasing everyone’s safety and security while reducing your annual insurance costs.

By |2011-04-26T06:25:45-07:00April 25th, 2011|Dispensary Insurance, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Good Planning Reduces Risk – and Insurance Costs

What Must be In an Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applicant’s Business Plan

Arizona Department of Health Services rule R9-17-304.D.9 requires that every application for a license to operate an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary contain a business plan.  The rule gives some but not much guidance, as to what the business plan must contain.  The rule states that to apply for a dispensary registration certificate, an entity shall submit to DHS a:

“business plan demonstrating the on-going viability of the dispensary on a not-for-profit basis that includes:

a. A description of and total dollar amount of expenditures already incurred to establish the dispensary or to secure a dispensary registration certificate by the individual or business organization applying for the dispensary registration certificate,

b. A description and total dollar amount of monies or tangible assets received for operating the dispensary from entities other than the individual applying for the dispensary registration certificate or a principal officer or board member associated with the dispensary including the entity’s name and the interest in the dispensary or the benefit the entity obtained,

c. Projected expenditures expected before the dispensary is operational,

d. Projected expenditures after the dispensary is operational, and

e. Projected revenue”

If you need a business plan for your medical marijuana dispensary (Arizona or any other state), I recommend that you hire Robert Kane to prepare it.  He has prepared business plans for hundreds of prospective medical marijuana dispensaries.  Call him at 561-234-6929 or send him an email at rkane@kaneabis.com.  Tell him Richard Keyt referred you to get a substantial price discount.

By |2011-04-30T11:53:14-07:00April 24th, 2011|Legal Issues, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on What Must be In an Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applicant’s Business Plan

Marijuana Shops Waiting to Open in Kelso and Castle Rock, WA

The Daily News:  “Kelso and Castle Rock may get the first medical marijuana dispensaries in Cowlitz County, depending on the outcome of the Legislature’s battle with the governor about the state’s medical marijuana law.  Gov. Chris Gregoire has threatened to veto a measure the Legislature adopted Thursday that would create a system for licensing storefront dispensaries and grow operations and protect some patients from being arrested.”

By |2011-04-24T08:12:00-07:00April 24th, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Marijuana Shops Waiting to Open in Kelso and Castle Rock, WA

Centralia, WA, Police Raid Pot Dispensary, Make Arrest

The Chronicle:  “Centralia [Washington] Police Department Anti-Crime Unit initiated an investigation of ‘Hub City Natural Medicine’ 120 S. Tower Ave. Centralia, Washington. The establishment obtained a business license from the city by specifying the nature of the business as ‘education and sales of natural medicine’ Information gathered from various confidential sources indicated the business was actually functioning as a medical marijuana dispensary.”

See “Rochester man arrested on pot-sales charges.”

By |2017-02-12T07:38:38-07:00April 24th, 2011|Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Centralia, WA, Police Raid Pot Dispensary, Make Arrest

Ahwatukee Inventor’s Vending Machine Dispenses Medical-marijuana Products

Arizona Republic:  “Ahwatukee Foothills entrepreneur Dave Levine wants to take the inconvenience out of medical-marijuana use. . . . he invented the Cannabis Container Vending Machine and a heavy plastic container called the ‘Cann Can’ – short for ‘cannabis can’.”

By |2011-04-23T11:43:11-07:00April 23rd, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Ahwatukee Inventor’s Vending Machine Dispenses Medical-marijuana Products

DHS Approves 579 Patients for Arizona Medical Marijuana

Arizona Republic:  “More than 700 patients applied for Arizona’s medical marijuana program since the state health department began accepting applications last week, and about 80 percent of them were approved, according to statistics released Friday by the Arizona Department of Health Services.”

By |2011-04-23T11:39:37-07:00April 23rd, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on DHS Approves 579 Patients for Arizona Medical Marijuana

Liability of Medical Directors of an Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Arizona Medical Marijuana Medical Director:
What will you get sued for?
Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family from Financial Ruin?

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. I am the business manager for Arizona Medical Marijuana Medical Directors: AZMMMD.com. This article is strictly my opinion. It is not, nor should it be construed as offering: Advice, Instructions, Solutions, or anything other than my opinion on a subject: a subject that is changing everyday!

When I first examined the issue of the potential liability of the Medical Director of an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary I thought the answer was simple. I mean since the start of legalized medical marijuana in California, not one dispensary has been sued by a patient! In fact the only lawsuits I could find were municipalities suing dispensaries.

Unfortunately, after reviewing the final rules and having conversations with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) I now know the issue of Medical Director liability is complicated and may contain insurmountable problems for medical directors!

When you first read the job of the Medical Director it appears to be similar to a vendor providing a system for dispensary application and subsequent operation; similar to inventory control or security. However, on closer inspection of the rules and discussions with the ADHS it is MUCH, MUCH more then that!

First ask yourself: Why did Arizona require a Medical Director’s involvement in the dispensary application and operation process, but California and Colorado DID NOT?

We know the reason from discussions with the ADHS.  It is control. ADHS wants someone with a license at stake (the Medical Director) to be responsible for certain elements of the dispensary application and operation process.  How is this accomplished?  What follows is the text of the ADHS rules that specify the duties of the Medical Director or that have an affect the Medical Director.

i. Availability of different strains of marijuana and the purported effects of the different strains;

ii. Information about the purported effectiveness of various methods, forms, and routes of medical marijuana administration;

iii. Methods of tracking the effects on a qualifying patient of different strains and forms of marijuana; and

iv. Prohibition on the smoking of medical marijuana in public places;

  • R9-17-310.A.3: Maintain copies of the policies and procedures at the dispensary and provide copies to the Department for review upon request;
  • R9-17-312.E: A medical director shall not establish a physician-patient relationship with or write medical marijuana recommendations provide a written certification for medical marijuana for a qualifying patient.
  • R9-17-312.D: A medical director shall provide oversight for the development and dissemination of:
  • R9-17-314.A.5: A qualifying patient record is provided to the Department for review upon request;
  • R9-17-322.C. The Department shall deny an application for a dispensary registration certificate or a renewal if . . . The Department determines that the dispensary did not implement the policies and procedures or comply with the statements provided to the Department with the dispensary’s application.

These sections of the ADHS rules make a Medical Director responsible for activities that if not performed properly could result in the closure of the Dispensary. The Medical Director is responsible not only for development of educational materials and training, but also the “oversight” of the specific sections of the Qualifying Patient Records. The Qualifying Patient Records may be examined for compliance at anytime by ADHS. If the records are found non-compliant:

  • The dispensary could lose its license to operate. The Medical Director could be held responsible.
  • The ADHS will probably refer this to the appropriate medical board for disciplinary action. It will probably be a minor sanction, but who knows?
  • The dispensary owner will probably sue the Medical Director for lost revenue and/or business disruption. Easy to protect yourself from, but costly.

What is the biggest problem?  A dispensary agent may knowingly or unknowingly dispenses medical marijuana to an unqualified person. If that were to happen, the dispensary agent will lose his/her dispensary agent license.  R9-17-323.C.2.  The Most Important Question: Is this activity Criminal?  If it is who will the Attorney General of Arizona or County Attorneys prosecute?  Will it be the dispensary agent, owners of the dispensary entity and/or the Medical Director???

I see this as the Medical Director’s biggest liability! Unless there is a law passed to specifically address this question. It is still illegal to sell marijuana in Arizona except when a licensed medical marijuana dispensary sells to a qualified patient who has a valid registry identification card. This is Arizona not California. It is not unreasonable to expect everyone involved with the dispensary to get arrested for selling medical marijuana to an unqualified person.

Jim Mc Cready
602 578-4385
Dr1@netscape.com

By |2015-04-06T18:51:47-07:00April 22nd, 2011|Legal Issues, Medical Directors|1 Comment

What the Final DHS Rules Require to Be In Dispensary Bylaws

As I have written before, all not-for-profit Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries must have Bylaws and submit the Bylaws to the Arizona Department of Health Services with its application for a dispensary registration certificate.  Both Arizona law (Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2806) and the Arizona Department of Health Services rules (R9-17-304(D).8) require the dispensary entity to have Bylaws.  Here is what the DHS rules say must be in the prospective dispensary’s Bylaws:

a. The names and titles of individuals designated as principal officers and board members of the dispensary;

b. Whether the dispensary plans to:

i. Cultivate marijuana;

ii. Acquire marijuana from qualifying patients, designated caregivers, or other dispensaries;

iii. Sell or provide marijuana to other dispensaries;

iv. Transport marijuana;

v. Prepare, sell, or dispense marijuana-infused edible food products;

vi. Prepare, sell, or dispense marijuana-infused non-edible products;

vii. Sell or provide marijuana paraphernalia or other supplies related to the administration of marijuana to qualifying patients and designated caregivers;

viii. Deliver medical marijuana to qualifying patients; or

ix. Provide patient support and related services to qualifying patients;

c. Provisions for the disposition of revenues and receipts to ensure that the dispensary operates on a not-for-profit basis; and

d. Provisions for amending the dispensary’s by-laws

See “Bylaws for Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensaries,” “Bylaws – We Don’t Need No Stinking Bylaws or Do We?”

By |2012-05-13T16:21:29-07:00April 21st, 2011|Legal Issues|Comments Off on What the Final DHS Rules Require to Be In Dispensary Bylaws

N.J. Attorney General asks Obama Administration if N.J. Medical Marijuana Program Violates U.S. Law

NJ.com:  “The debate over the legality of medical marijuana in two western states has prompted State Attorney General Paula Dow to ask the Obama administration whether New Jersey’s future program could violate federal law.  Dow’s office sent a letter late today to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to clarify whether those licensed to grow or sell pot — as well as the state workers who will administer the program when it launches later this year — could face arrest.”  The letter said in part:

“As the state’s chief legal adviser to all of the departments in the Executive Branch, many of which are participating in carrying out the medical marijuana legislation, it is critical that I properly advise them as to the potential criminal and civil ramifications of their actions in carrying out their duties,” according to Dow’s letter.  Accordingly, I ask that you provide me with clear guidance as to the enforcement position of the Department of Justice relative to New Jersey’s medical marijuana legislation and the scope of the entities and individuals who may be subject to civil suit or criminal prosecution,”

This request is a major development in the state legal medical marijuana industry.  Will the U.S. Attorney General answer the questions posed by the N.J. Attorney General?  If so, the U.S. Attorney General’s answer could potentially kill the entire industry.  Eric Holder is being asked to fish or cut bait.  The Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and the Attorney Generals of the other states that have legalized medical marijuana should get on the band wagon and send similar requests to Eric Holder.

A related story in the Arizona Republic today headlined “Medical marijuana: Federal pressure stirs legal confusion” discusses the implications arising from the fact that people involved in state legal medical marijuana industry are also violating federal criminal marijuana laws.

“Threatened medical-marijuana crackdowns by federal prosecutors in other states have stoked fears about whether state employees, dispensary owners and others could be punished for operating under Arizona’s fledgling law. . . . Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke’s office says it will offer guidance this week for state officials. . . . The uncertainty surrounding the new state law increased reluctance for landlords to lease to dispensaries and unsettled state Department of Health Services workers. . . . Washington’s U.S. attorneys said the legislation appears to violate federal law and could put state workers at risk for prosecution. . . . Earlier this month, Michael Ormsby, U.S. attorney for Washington’s Eastern District, sent notices to 40 property owners that house dispensaries, warning that they could be violating drug-trafficking laws.  Ormsby told the landlords to evict the tenants within 30 days or face the risk of prosecution.”

The U.S. Attorney should not leave the state legal medical marijuana industry in the dark.  Too many people have invested their valuable time, money and resources in the states that have legalized marijuana and they deserve to know if they will be prosecuted or not.  The need to know is especially important in a state like Arizona that recently legalized medical marijuana, but has not yet have any dispensaries.  Mr. Holder, if you intend to prosecute owners of Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries and their employees, tell them now before they spend substantial amounts of money and violate the law.  It’s your duty!  If you intend to prosecute dispensary owners and/or state employees involved in implementing or administering state legal medical marijuana laws, tell them now and you will be preventing the future violation of federal laws and the need to prosecute violators.

By |2011-04-21T07:36:27-07:00April 21st, 2011|Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on N.J. Attorney General asks Obama Administration if N.J. Medical Marijuana Program Violates U.S. Law

Sacramento County District Attorney Subpoenas Isleton, CA, City Council Members Who Say They Will Plead the 5th

The Sacremento Bee:  “Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully’s probe into Isleton’s licensing of a medical marijuana farm has hardened into a legal war of wills as city officials say they’ll refuse to testify when called before a grand jury next week.  Scully subpoenaed City Council members and the city manager of the Delta hamlet April 13, after declaring in a letter that the city’s agreements with the medical marijuana grower likely ‘violate state and federal statutes’ and could subject local officials to prosecution.”

By |2015-04-06T18:51:47-07:00April 21st, 2011|California News, Marijuana Crimes, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Sacramento County District Attorney Subpoenas Isleton, CA, City Council Members Who Say They Will Plead the 5th

Where are the Medical Marijuana Millionaires?

CNN Money:  “in 2010 Colorado tightened the screws. New laws imposed tough and often expensive standards on how business could run. Suddenly owning a pot dispensary. . . became no more profitable than owning a liquor store.”  The story says:

“The new rules include minimum distance requirements between MMCs and sensitive community areas like schools and churches; a minimum two-year residency requirement for MMC owners; restrictions on felons working at or owning MMCs; and detailed control measures for every seed grown and every ounce of bud sold throughout the state. . . . Dispensary owners in Denver, which has the highest concentration of marijuana operations, laugh at the perception that they’re raking in dough.”

The above rules are similar to the tough rules promulgated by Arizona Department of Health Services.  The article also says, “Perhaps worst of all for business owners is a provision that allows local communities to adopt even stricter standards than the state,”  Arizona cities are doing the same.

The Marijuana Lawyer Blog says:

“Despite it being a multi-billion industry, abuses by state regulators and local politicians can cripple or kill a dispensary. . . . the IRS can create tax and accounting nightmares for legitimate businesses operating under state medical marijuana laws. Our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys believe there is something more sinister at work than the commonplace ineptness of politicians. We believe the greed factor will continue to ensure dispensaries and collectives are hounded by local, state and federal officials”

By |2012-08-25T08:07:19-07:00April 20th, 2011|Colorado News, Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Where are the Medical Marijuana Millionaires?

Medicinal Marijuana: No Easy High

TriValleyCentral.com:  “But not all in the medical profession are onboard with writing certifications for their patients, even if those patients have an approved medical condition.  Because marijuana is still classified as an illegal drug by the federal government, doctors at Sun Life Family Health Centers will be among the area physicians who will not write medical marijuana certifications for their patients, said Dr. Robert Babyar, medical director of Sun Life.”

By |2015-04-06T18:51:46-07:00April 20th, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Medicinal Marijuana: No Easy High

Arizona Senate Passes House Bill 2541 a Drug Testing Bill Related to Medical Marijuana

Phoenix Business Journal:  “The Arizona Senate passed House Bill 2541 Tuesday afternoon, giving employers more protection in their drug testing policies when it comes to dealing with employees using medical marijuana.  If signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, this bill will go a long way in protecting employers and avoiding a lot of potential problems.”

See “Bill lets employers act against medical marijuana patients.”  Read the text of HB 2541.

By |2011-04-20T06:39:37-07:00April 20th, 2011|AZ Legislation, Legal Issues|Comments Off on Arizona Senate Passes House Bill 2541 a Drug Testing Bill Related to Medical Marijuana

Alan Sobol’s April 17, 2011, Letter to Will Humble

As you may know we called for the Resignation or removal of Mr. Humble last week, (See April 11th 2011 seed2successblog.com.)

On April 15 2011 Mr. Humble was questioned by the Arizona Business Journal concerning our removal demands. His peculiar response raises legitimate questions of his competency.  When asked about our resignation demands Mr. Humble responded;

“My staff screens a group’s reputation before accepting any engagements, I have received numerous requests for speaking engagements but there is one group I have rejected: the Arizona Association of Dispensary professionals, Inc. led by Director Allan Sobol”.

Now Mr. Humble did not elaborate on his reasons but in contradiction to that statement he did acknowledge that he agreed to speak at the Green Relief Expo, an event whose primary sponsor was Marijuana Marketing Strategies, llc, also Directed by yours truly, Allan Sobol. What Humble failed to tell the press was that when he was first asked to speak at The Green Relief Expo back in February he REFUSED.  Only after we accused him of special treatment for his friends at MPP and AZMMA did Humble reverse himself and agree to speak.  However, his offer to speak was made with conditions, (conditions not required with MPP and AZMMA).

Apparently afraid of what might be asked from a group not controlled by his friends; his terms to attend the event were that he would not take any verbal questions from the audience. (The only speaker at the EXPO with that condition).  Instead, Humble stated, he would only answer written questions submitted by the audience, AND ONLY after the questions were screened and censored by his handlers.  Humble’s behavior and  comments are further evidence of his bias.  Clearly these comments were intended to promote the interest of his friends at AZMMA.

Let’s get the facts straight.  In November 2010 I asked Mr. Humble to speak at a FREE educational seminar.  The response I received from his staff was that Humble would not meet with anyone who has a financial interest in the Dispensary program. ( Although I explained to them that we would not be applying for a license.)

The Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals, Inc is a legally formed legitimate Association authorized under the laws of the State Of Arizona.  We are in fact Arizona’s largest Medical Marijuana Industry Trade Association consisting of over 7000 members.

On the other hand, The Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, AZMMA, is an offshoot of MPP, and  the only action ever taken by that Association was when, on March 8th 2011, Joe Yuhas reserved the name of the proposed entity with the Arizona Corporation Commission.  This name filing was submitted two (2) days after  we filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s office alleging that the AZMMA was committing criminal fraud by charging seminar fees and claiming that the monies collected were tax deductable. This was fraudulent:  AZMMA is not a legally registered corporation, and surly is not a 501c3 (not for profit entity ).  The act of reserving a name with the Arizona Corporation Commission  in no way establishes AZMMA as a legal entity authorized to do business in Arizona.  It is merely a precursor to filing Corporate Documents.  AZMMA’s representations that they are authorized to do business in this state, or that they are a Not-for-profit entity may very well represent criminal fraud.

It appears that Mr. Humble needs a new PR Company!   Let us all understand what is taking place here.  Mr. Humble tells the press “that his staff screens the reputation of a group before accepting any engagement”, nevertheless, he will speak with, and associate with a fee based function promoted by AZMMA, (illegally operated by his long time friend and and former MPP operative Joe Yuhas),    which is an unlicensed, unauthorized non-entity making fraudulent claims. However, he refuses to speak at a FREE function sponsored by a legitimate Arizona Industry Association.  This clearly creates an appearance of impropriety.  Additionally, It appears that we must question the competency of his staff’s ability to review these agenda requests. If that is so, how can we trust this same staff to review applications for Dispensary operators!!!   Will the same bias apply?
It should also be noted that at that same event,  Mr. Humble’s other close friend, Andrew Meyer, was plying the trade of a new, also unregistered, illegal company called 203organics.
It appears to me that the Director of a AZDHS was endorsing and associating himself with a number of  schemes not authorized to do business in this State.  Is this the guy we want regulating the Medical Marijuana Industry?

It’s obvious that Mr. Humble is uncomfortable with the truth we bring to this process. His remarks are without merit and solely intended to damage the good work and reputation of our Association.

Mr. Humble does not need an army of security guards to protect him from us; we are a professional organization merely attempting to assure fairness in this process.  Instead of fearing us he should embrace us.  Associations like ours and many others across the state can bring a wealth of knowledge, information, positive impute and balance to this process.  It is truly unfortunate that Mr.  Humble is too biased to understand that.

Not to be distracted, there is one significant issue in the Final Rules which still needs immediate clarification.  In order to provide a level playing field for all potential applicants Mr. Humble, or his replacement, must identify who will actually choose the Dispensary winners.  Will it be the local zoning jurisdictions or the AZDHS?   Mr. Humble continues to do the CHA CHA with respect to this very important question.  While the final rules dictate that you will only need a letter from the local zoning jurisdiction stating that the proposed dispensary location meets the required zoning rules. What happens if you cannot get that letter??   Humble has already stated that you will not need a Special Use Permit ( SUP) or Temporary Use Permit, (TUP) with your initial Dispensary Application.  However, What Humble has consistently ignored and danced around is the  important question; what happens if a local jurisdiction refuses to give you such a letter?  Many of you may be aware of the fact that some jurisdictions have conducted “pre-zoning-registrations”.  In some cases these “Pre-zoning-registrations” were conducted without advance public notice. Certain select applicants with “inside” information were first in line months ago to  pre-register.  Some local jurisdictions are refusing to accept other applicants, or have indicated they will not write letters of compliance for those that did not “pre-register”.  I believe that this is a pre-mediated effort on the part of some influential individuals to win dispensary licenses for their clients.  If that local jurisdiction does not provide you with a letter  stating that your property meets the requirements of local zoning requirements, will the AZDHS deny your application solely on that basis???.   If that is the case then only applicants previously approved by their local zoning authority will be granted AZDHS Dispensary Licenses.  In that event AZDHS is acquiescing to local jurisdictions it’s authority under Title 36 to select the Dispensary Applicants.

So, Mr. Humble,  we know you are reading this, we are asking you to clarify this issue.

We believe AZDHS has no authority to assign it’s authority under Title 36 to Local Zoning Jurisdictions.  In fact, to do so would be actionable by any applicant damaged by that process.   A simple solution to this issue would be to forgo any zoning requirements till after the Dispensary Applicants have been chosen.  It is very likely at that time many of the approved applicants may elect to move their facility to better locations within their CHAA.  These new better locations will become available when the non-selected applicants terminate their lease agreements.

Additionally,  considering all the rumors , allegations, and other suggestions of impropriety surrounding this process  it appears that the only fair way to review and select Dispensary Applicants would be establish a review board comprised of  members from the general public, the legal community, the Medical Marijuana industry and of course AZDHS.

In the interest of making this a fair and equal process to all we encourage Mr. Humble to work with all legitimate Organizations.

Sincerely,

 

Allan Sobol, Director
Arizona Association of Dispensary Professionals, Inc.

By |2011-04-19T07:42:35-07:00April 19th, 2011|Stories & Articles|Comments Off on Alan Sobol’s April 17, 2011, Letter to Will Humble

Fountain Hills Faces Medical-marijuana Challenge

Arizona Republic:  “A business consultant whose zoning-verification request for a medical-marijuana dispensary was denied by Fountain Hills is threatening legal action to challenge the “reasonableness” of its zoning restrictions.  Ingrid Jolya, a member/manager of Phoenix-based ETD Systems, submitted an application for two suites in the strip center at 17005 E. Colony Drive. . . . There have been three denied and one has been issued . . . . The ordinance is so restrictive that there are only two possible locations for a medical-marijuana dispensary, a public storage area and a vacant lot”

This is an example of how the cities rather than Arizona Department of Health Services are now able because of the change made to the rules on April 14, 2011, to determine who gets a medical marijuana dispensary in their jurisdictions.  Without a comfort letter from the city, a prospective dispensary owner cannot file an application for a dispensary license.

See “Three IEDs in DHS’ Actual Final Rules Detonate & Blow Many Would-Be Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Away.”

By |2012-08-18T09:33:10-07:00April 16th, 2011|Stories & Articles, Zoning|Comments Off on Fountain Hills Faces Medical-marijuana Challenge