Yesterday the Arizona Department of Health Services conducted its lottery to pick “winners” to receive medical marijuana dispensary registration certificates in the areas that had more than one qualified applicant.  The winners must now open their dispensaries before their registration certificates expire.

  • Arizona RepublicArizona begins selecting medical-marijuana dispensaries.  “On Tuesday, the state Health Department issued 97 dispensary registration certificates from among 433 applicants, giving them the opportunity to sell marijuana and operate cultivation sites to grow it. . . . [Maricopa County Attorney Bill] Montgomery said Tuesday he will ask the judge in that case for a quick ruling on whether the state’s medical-marijuana program is legal under the federal Controlled Substance Act, which makes possession, sale or use of marijuana a crime. . . . [Montgomery] said, Horne’s legal opinion gives him the authority to prosecute dispensary operators. State Health Department employees also are at risk under federal law . . . . .’Any action that was taken by a state employee, if in fact any dispensaries open, was a federal crime’ .”
  • The Bugle:  Despite legal threat, state health dept. allocates medical marijuana dispensary bids.  “Two areas remain under legal dispute and the balance, mainly tribal lands, had no applicants at all.  By law, the state cannot identify the successful applicants or even the locations where they plan to operate. . . . But if Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery gets his way, there won’t be any dispensaries by that point.  In fact, Montgomery told Capitol Media Services on Tuesday he hopes to get a court ruling that makes the entire 2010 voter-approved medical marijuana program disappear. That would mean marijuana cardholders would either have to give up the drug or face the risk of arrest.”
  • Verde Independent:  Attorney general taking medical marijuana law to state court.  “Attorney General Tom Horne said Monday that prosecutors are going to ask a state court to declare that the planned medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal and cannot be opened.  Horne told Capitol Media Services that federal law prohibits anyone from selling marijuana. Yet the state is planning to issue licenses that authorize dispensary operators to do just that.  ‘A state law cannot authorize a violation of federal law,’ he said.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services website contains video segments of the lottery and a Q & A with ADHS Director Will Humble.