CBS 5 TV has a story that says former Arizona Department of Health Services employee Adam Goldie provided consulting services to two applicants that were awarded Arizona medical marijuana dispensary registration certificates, aka, dispensary licenses. CBS 5 says Goldie’s business is “Brightroot,” but this is a tradename owned by Adam Goldie’s Arizona limited liability company called “Charles Ewell Investments, LLC.”
As of February 11, 2017, four companies that applied for Arizona medical marijuana dispensary licenses during the 2016 application period and whose applications were rejected have sued the Arizona Department of Health Services. Each plaintiff alleges that its application designated a location for its medical marijuana dispensary that complied will all requirements of applicable local zoning ordinances, but the Arizona Department of Health Services awarded licenses to applicants whose dispensary addresses did not meet all applicable zoning ordinances.
The GAM Enterprises, LLC, BAB Holdings, LLC & 3 SL Family, LLC Lawsuit
On December 28, 2016, GAM Enterprises, LLC, BAB Holdings, LLC & 3 SL Family, LLC sued DHS. GAM Enterprises, LLC’s sole member is Genifer Murray. BAB Holdings, LLC’s sole member is Ingrid Joiya Warrick. The members and managers of 3 SL Family, LLC, are Larry C. Leverett and Yolanda Denise Leverett.
GAM Enterprises, LLC, applied for a dispensary license in CHAA 58 in South Scottsdale. The complaint alleges that DHS awarded the dispensary license to an applicant whose dispensary will be located at 6710 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, Arizona.
BAB Holdings, LLC, applied for a dispensary license in CHAA 40 in north Scottsdale. The complaint alleges that DHS awarded the dispensary license to an applicant whose dispensary will be located at 14405 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona.
3 SL Family, LLC, applied for a dispensary license in CHAA 78 in Ahwatukee. The complaint alleges that DHS awarded the dispensary license to an applicant whose dispensary will be located at 10835 S. 48th Street, Phoenix, Arizona. The complaint alleges that the location failed to satisfy the zoning requirements of applicable law and that DHS should have rejected the application for that location.
The complaint asks the court to order that the licenses awarded by DHS with respect to CHAAs 40, 58 and 78 be revoked and issued to an applicant whose application complied with all requirements.
The Premium Leaf, Inc., Lawsuit
On January 27, 2017, Premium Leaf, Inc., filed its complaint against DHS. Premium Leaf, Inc., is an Arizona nonprofit corporation whose directors are Laurence David Turner, Douglas W. Turner and Adam S. Turner.
Premium Leaf applied for a dispensary license in CHAA 70 for a site located at 98 N. Power Road, Mesa, Arizona. Premium Leaf claims that its location is the only location in CHAA 70 that satisfied all zoning requirements and therefor DHS improperly awarded the license to an applicant that should have been disqualified.k The plaintiff asks the court to issue a permanent injunction that revokes the license DHS granted for CHAA 70 and award it to Premium Leaf.
CBS 5 TV’s Story on the GAM Enterprises, LLC vs. Arizona Department of Health Services
GAM Enterprises, LLC vs. Arizona Department of Health Services Complaintgam-enterprises
Premium Leaf, Inc. s. Arizona Department of Health Services Complaint
Phoenix New Times: “The Arizona Department of Health Services awarded preliminary licenses for 31 new medical-marijuana dispensaries last week, creating a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs and (soon) more shopping choices for patients. Most of the 747 applicants lost out on their hoped-for pot of green gold — not to mention the nonrefundable $4,000 of their $5,000 application fee. But the lucky few whose applications were accepted could make a fortune in the industry.”
Today, October 6, 2016, the Arizona Department of Health Services notified 31 of 750 applicants that they were selected to receive Dispensary Registration Certificates that allow each “winner” the right to open an Arizona medical marijuana dispensary. The areas awarded new dispensary licenses, the CHAA names and CHAA ids are set forth in DHS’ Dispensary Registration Certification Allocation Results.
Nine of the 31 licenses were determined by the random selection process. Balls with a number for each applicant were placed in a machine and blown through the air for 15 seconds after which one of the balls entered a tube at random and became the “winning” ball. DHS’ accounting firm of Henry & Horne conducted the random selection process.
The CHAAs that had random selections, the number of applicants in that CHAA and the winning applicant’s number are as follows:
- CHAA 8 had 24 applications and the winner was applicant #1508
- CHAA 26 had 4 applications and the winner was applicant #1514
- CHAA 40 had 2 applications and the winner was applicant #1307
- CHAA 52 had 2 applications and the winner was applicant #1240
- CHAA 59 had 5 applications and the winner was applicant #1359
- CHAA 60 had 3 applications and the winner was applicant #1352
- CHAA 77 had 3 applications and the winner was applicant #1481
- CHAA 78 had 3 applications and the winner was applicant #1271
- CHAA 105 had 2 applications and the winner was applicant #1015
The Random Selection Process
Several of my clients that applied for new Arizona medical marijuana dispensary licenses received email messages from the Arizona Department of Health Services notifying them that the new dispensary licensees will be announced on October 6, 2016. Here is the text of the email message DHS is sending to applicants that are still in the hunt for a new dispensary license:
Subject: ADHS- Dispensary Registration Certificate Allocation
The Department will be announcing the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Registration Certificate allocation results on Thursday, October 6th.
On Wednesday afternoon, all applicants to be included in the random selection process will be notified. Not all CHAA results will require a random selection. Applications to be included in the random selection process will be allowed one representative to attend the selection in person on Thursday. The representative must be a principal officer and/or board member identified on the application.
Medical Marijuana Program
Arizona Department of Health Services
Email [email protected]
Health and Wellness for all Arizonans
Phoenix Channel 3 TV: “3TV has obtained documents that show problems with some of the 750 dispensary applications being considered. Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is among those who worry applications that fully comply with the law will be treated the same as those that do not. “Oh, it’s a big problem,” Gordon said. “There’s no certainty where these licenses are going to end up.”
The table below lists the 31 CHAAs in which the Arizona Department of Health Services is offering to grant new Arizona medical marijuana dispensary licenses beginning July 18, 2016 and ending on July 29, 2016. New dispensary licenses will be granted only in the CHAAs listed below.
The Arizona Department of Health Services announced on June 1, 2016, that it will accept applications for new Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries starting on July 18, 2016, and ending on July 29, 2016. My contact at DHS says there will be 31 dispensary licenses available. Here is the text of the DHS announcement:
The Department will accept dispensary registration certificate applications from July 18 – July 29, 2016. During this allocation, 31 dispensary registration certificates will be available. The “record date” for the allocation will be May 31, 2016. Because there are no available counties as of the record date, the Department will not allocate certificates under R9-17-303(B)(1). The top 31 CHAAs prioritized under R9-17-303(B)(2) will be made available by June 6. Any certificates not allocated under R9-17-303(B)(2) will be allocated under R9-17-303(B)(3).
At least 30 days before it begins accepting applications, the Department will announce (1) the dates during which applications will be accepted, (2) the number of dispensary registration certificates that will be available for the Summer 2016 allocation, and (3) the county(ies) and CHAAs in which dispensary registration certificates will be issued under the first two steps described below. The “record date” for the Summer 2016 allocation will be May 31, 2016. This means that changes in data variables affecting allocation priority which occur after the record date will not be considered for the Summer 2016 allocation.
Applications will be accepted for 10 consecutive business days. Thereafter, the Department’s review and allocation time frames will comply with R9-17-107.
The allocation process will follow these criteria:
The Department will first determine whether there is a county in which a dispensary registration certificate does not exist. If so, the Department will publicly identify that county and allocate one dispensary registration certificate within each identified county according to R9-17-303(B)(1).
The Arizona Department of Health Services just posted the Medical Marijuana Program Dispensary Registration Certificate Application and related documents on its website. If you are interested in applying for a license to operate a new Arizona medical marijuana dispensary then you need to study the application and related documents and begin the work needed to prepare all the documents and file the application. ADHS has not yet announced when it will accept applications, but it does warn that it will accept new applications for only TEN WORKING DAYS after it begins accepting applications.
The application states:
“In accordance with A.R.S. § 36-2804, nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries shall register with the Arizona Department of Health Services (Department). The Department may not issue more than one nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificate for every ten (10) pharmacies that have registered under section 32-1929, have obtained a pharmacy permit from the Arizona Board of Pharmacy, and operate in the State. As per A.A.C. R9-17-304, dispensary registration certificate applicants must submit to the Department an application in a Department-provided format (the Dispensary Registration Certificate Application). The Department will accept Dispensary Registration Certificate Applications for 10 working days.”
The packet includes a checklist, the application and a document called “Documentation of Property Ownership.” The latter document must be signed by the owner of the real estate on which the dispensary will be located.
Phoenix New Times: “The Arizona Department of Health Services just announced that it will begin taking applications for new dispensaries this summer. This is the first time the state will be reviewing new applications for dispensary operating certificates since a lottery was held in 2012 that resulted the current roll-out in Arizona of nearly 90 medical-cannabis retail stores. . . . ‘The Department will accept dispensary registration certificate applications this summer, following the allocation process and requirements in rules.’ “
After quietly removing its notice last year that said it will accept new applications for Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries, the Arizona Department of Health Services posted the following statement on its website:
“The Department will accept dispensary registration certificate applications this summer , following the allocation process and requirements in rules. This announcement will be updated at least 30 calendar days before the date the Department begins accepting applications. More information will be posted on this Dispensary webpage as it becomes available.
Tucson Weekly: “The state is failing to meet the requirement to allow new medical conditions. . . . In July 2015, the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association filed for eight new conditions to be added to the program: traumatic brain injury, arthritis, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, diabetes, autism and neuropathic pain. As predicted, the AZDHS denied all eight petitions without a second thought.
Casa Grande Dispatch: “If some Arizona nurses get their way, medical marijuana will become available as early as next year to treat everything from arthritis and autism to Tourette’s syndrome and traumatic brain injury. Members of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association are petitioning the Department of Health Services to add those conditions and four more to the list of what qualifies people to use the drug. The voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act requires the agency to consider the requests.”
Arizona Daily Star: “A judge has rejected efforts by a marijuana advocacy group to quash limits set by the Department of Health Services on how and when patients with post-traumatic stress disorder can legally use the drug. In a ruling Wednesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Crane McClennen said there was ‘substantial evidence’ to support the restrictions imposed last year by Will Humble, who was state health chief at the time. And McClennen said adopting the views of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association that the restrictions are inappropriate would amount to requiring him to substitute his own judgment for that of the health chief, something he legally cannot do.”
Arizona Journal: “The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) has been in effect for four years, and the annual report by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) shows that more and more people are taking part in the program. The first annual report presented in 2012 revealed that there were 35,641 active cardholders in the state. This year that number has increased by almost 17,000, with the state currently showing a total of 52,374 cardholders, which includes 51,783 qualifying patients and 591 caregivers. In addition, this year there were 904 dispensary agent cards issued.
Arizona Daily Star: “Thousands of Arizona veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder will soon be able to obtain marijuana legally. State health director Will Humble decided Wednesday there is at least one study showing the drug can be helpful in treating the symptoms of PTSD. He said that, combined with some anecdotal evidence, provides what he needs under Arizona law to allow doctor with a qualifying patient to recommend the drug. But Humble said he is approving the drug for use only to help patients deal with the symptoms of PTSD. He said there is no evidence that marijuana can be useful to actually treat or cure the condition.”
Arizona Republic: “Medical marijuana patients who are 65 and older could soon get discounted medical pot cards. The Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, wants to slash card prices by 50 percent for seniors, veterans, and those who receive Social Security and disability payments.”
East Valley Tribune: “The state’s top health official is weighing new regulations to ensure that users of medical marijuana snacks and drinks know when to stop. Will Humble said he may require dispensaries to certify that an employee has discussed with the customer the effects of the product being bought. Humble, the state’s health director, said he exploring the use of what might be called “secret shoppers” to ensure that customers are being told what they need to know to remain safe.”
Arizona Republic: “Arizona’s top health official is considering whether people suffering from PTSD should be allowed to use medical marijuana, which could amount to a big win for veterans and medical marijuana advocates. . . . Will Humble’s consideration of the issue comes after an administrative law judge on Wednesday recommended state officials allow those with PTSD to use medical marijuana, reversing Humble’s earlier denial.”
AZ Dept. of Health Services Confirms Ultra Health, LLC Lacks a License for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Ultra Health, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company, sued Healing Healthcare 3, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation for among other things, breach of a joint venture agreement that involves the marijuana grow facility at 410 S Madison, Tempe, Arizona (the “Premises”). See a copy of Ultra Health, LLC’s, Complaint.
During a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court on March 14, 2014, Ultra Health, LLC’s attorney claimed that Ultra Health, LLC, has some kind of license related somehow to medical marijuana. The judge asked the parties to submit to him by the end of business that day proof from the Arizona Department of Health Services that the party had a medical marijuana dispensary license.
Healing Healthcare 3, Inc., is a co-tenant on the lease for the Premises with Holistic Patient Wellness Group, LLC. Below is the text of a March 14, 2014, the letter sent by AZDHS to Holistic Patient Wellness Group, LLC, that Healing Healthcare 3, Inc., submitted to the judge on March 14, 2014.
March 14, 2014
Kathy Sanchez, Principal Officer
45000 S, Lakeshore Drive, Suite 343
Tempe, Arizona 85285
RE: Medical Marijuana Program
Dear Ms. Sanchez:
Pursuant to the request of the dispensary certificate holder to clarify ownership and authority to operate a medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation site, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) confirms that a dispensary registration certificate (DRC) was issued to Holistic Patient Wellness Group, LLC. Further, AZDHS issued an approval to operate to Holistic Patient Wellness Group, LLC to operate a dispensary and cultivation site and AZDHS recognizes them as the current and sole holders of the DRC.
AZDHS can confirm that it does not recognize Ultra Health, LLC as a holder of this or any other dispensary registration certificate.
Jeff Bloomberg, Manager
Division for Planning and Operations, Administrative Counsel and Rules
I’m sorry, but I can’t help but repeat my favorite part of the above letter:
“AZDHS can confirm that it does not recognize Ultra Health, LLC as a holder of this or any other dispensary registration certificate.”
To learn more about Ultra Health, LLC, enter Ultra Health in the search box at the top right of this page and press your enter key or click on the topic in the right column called “Zoned Properties & Duke Rodriguez.”
For the record, Holistic Patient Wellness Group, LLC, is a client of mine.
Phoenix New Times: “Arizona veterans and people 65 and older would get a big break from the state on the cost of a medical-marijuana card in 2015 under proposed rule changes.”
Phoenix New Times: “The Arizona Department of Health Services again denied adding PTSD, depression, and migraines to the list of medical conditions that qualify people for a medical-marijuana card. DHS Director Will Humble wrote on his blog that he “didn’t approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions.”
The text below is from the Arizona Department of Health Services Director’s blog on January 17, 2014:
“We published our mid-year update of the medical marijuana annual report this week. It contains different data than our standard annual report in that we’re reporting aggregate dispensary transaction data. In the report you’ll see that there were about 422,000 transactions made at dispensaries in ‘13 among the 40,000 patients (about 10 transactions/patient/year). Dispensaries sold 2,700 Kg of marijuana in ’13 for an estimated gross revenue stream of about $33M. Transaction data is broken down by age group as well. Fridays are the busiest day of the week at dispensaries.
In other news, we completed our review of the latest petitions to add debilitating medical conditions to the official list this week. As you recall, the AZ Medical Marijuana Act charges us to periodically accept petitions to add new medical conditions to the list that qualifies folks for a card. Last summer we accepted petitions from the public to add new medical conditions for PTSD, depression and migraines. We also received a lot of informal comments regarding adding PTSD; depression & migraines and heard in person testimony from dozens of folks at our public hearing in October.
We also contracted with the U of A College of Public Health to do an evidence review of published scientific studies. You can see the UA’s analyses for depression; migraine headaches and PTSD on our petition website. Our ADHS Medical Advisory Committee reviewed and analyzed the data, as in past submission periods, and provided me with recommendations earlier this week.
Our literature review found limited scientific evidence to support permanently adding the petitioned conditions to the statutory list of qualifying debilitating conditions identified in the Act. I didn’t approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions. We’ll be accepting petitions again January 27 – 31, 2014.”
Arizona Republic: “Patients seeking permission to use medical marijuana cited chronic pain as a debilitating condition about 26,500 times from July 2012 through June 2013, representing 73 percent of Arizonans who qualified to use the drug. Will Humble, director of the state Department of Health Services, said he wants to more quickly root out physicians who are improperly recommending medical marijuana . . . . A new report by the health department analyzed the second year of the state’s medical marijuana program and found that a small number of physicians write a big share of the pot recommendations.”
See also “Small core of doctors write vast majority of medical marijuana recommendations,” which says:
“Just 25 doctors are responsible for allowing more than 25,000 Arizonans to legally obtain marijuana, according to a report released Friday. State health director Will Humble said the evidence shows development of “certification mills” since voters approved a law in 2010 that allows those with a doctor’s recommendation to obtain up to 2½ ounces of marijuana every two weeks.”
Arizona Daily Star: “Tucson’s first medical marijuana dispensary has received state approval to open. Now the owner has to decide on a date. ‘Right now we haven’t decided when we will open up,’ said Rouben Beglarian. ‘We’re going to have a couple meetings with staff members and see when they feel comfortable.’ Beglarian’s dispensary, Green Medicine, 112 S. Kolb Road at Broadway, in the Gaslight Plaza Shopping Center, passed inspection Tuesday. He received an email Wednesday from the Arizona Department of Health Services confirming he is allowed to open for business. He expects to start selling before the end of the year.”
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 Republic: Arizona 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.
On August 3, 2012, Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, posted the following on his blog:
Next Tuesday (August 7) is “Selection Tuesday” for our medical marijuana dispensary applicants. By the end of the day, we’ll have whittled the initial pool of 486 medical marijuana dispensary applications down to 99. We won’t be allocating the full allotment of 126 Registration Certificates on Tuesday because 27 of our Community Health Analysis Areas had no applicant at all- leaving 99 Community Health Analysis Areas with at least 1 applicant. About 75 of the 99 had 2 or more applicants- so we’ll have about 75 drawings on Tuesday. We’ll post an updated summary of how many eligible applications there are by district on our website before the drawing.
We’ll be using a device that blows pre-labeled ping pong type balls inside of a clear cage to randomly select the successful applicant in each competitive area. We’ll go CHAA by CHAA starting at #1 and continuing through #126. The agenda for the day is posted on our website (the first selection will begin at 9 am and we’ll finish around 1 pm). Applicants will be e-mailed the number of their ball(s) in advance… and all applicants will be notified of the selection results electronically by Wednesday. The successful applicants will receive their Registration Certificate after they complete their required Dispensary Agent paperwork.
The process will be webcast live on this internet URL and the entire event will be recorded and posted on the ADHS dispensary website. Because of the large number of applicants and the limited capacity of our facility, credentialed media, a few Agency staff and our independent auditors will be the only folks that’ll be invited to the selection location. The Act doesn’t allow us to identify the applicants by name or even business name- so we’ll use application numbers to identify the successful applicants. We’ll also post a table of the successful applicants (by application number) on our dispensary website by the close of business on Tuesday.
Everybody that’s allocated a Dispensary Registration Certificate will have a little less than a year to build out and get an “Approval to Operate”. Keep in mind that an application for Approval to Operate a dispensary is not complete until we get a written notice that the dispensary and cultivation facility (if it’s in the business plan) is ready for an inspection and they meet our criteria. Our team recently put together some tools to help Registration Certificate holders meet our Approval to Operate criteria, including an Approval to Operate Application Checklist, Approval to Operate Application Instructions, and the Dispensary Inspection Checklist
Phoenix New Times: “If you follow Arizona’s medical marijuana program as closely as sports fans follow their teams, this one’s for you — the dispensary lottery will be streaming live online Tuesday. The applicants have different odds of obtaining the approval to start up a dispensary on ‘Selection Tuesday,’ as there are various amounts of applicants in each of the 126 regions, called ‘Community Health Analysis Areas.’ . . . Therefore, 387 of the 486 people who applied for the chance to run a dispensary will come out as losers on Tuesday if their ball doesn’t come out of the device known as the ‘Atom Action Bubble Top Bingo Blower’.”
Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services wrote the following on his blog on July 23, 2012:
“Most of the applicants for medical marijuana registration certificates have been able to correct deficiencies in their applications… and 460 of the 486 applications we received are now complete. Five applications have been withdrawn, 3 have been denied, 15 are pending, and 3 are on the clock to respond to requests for additional information.
The complete applications are currently being evaluated to determine which will be eligible and move on to the random selection process on August 7th. At least 25 applications will be allocated certificates without going through the random selection process because they’re the only application in their district (CHAA). We’ll be providing more information about the August 7th agenda in the next couple of weeks. We’ll probably be issuing 95-99 dispensary registration certificates in about 3 weeks.”
East Valley Tribune: “State Health Director Will Humble refused Thursday to expand the conditions for which marijuana can be legally recommended. . . . Humble’s decision disappointed Suzanne Sisley. She is a physician with the Telemedicine Program at the UA College of Medicine and a specialist in internal medicine and psychiatry. She said that, despite the lack of formal full-blown scientific studies, she believes marijuana works. . . .Sisley said, though, the decision comes as no real surprise. She said that Humble, in demanding evidence from scientifically backed peer-reviewed studies, essentially set the requests to expand the medical marijuana program up for rejection. That’s because the National Institute for Drug Abuse, which controls the only legal supply of marijuana for medical research has consistently refused to give the go-ahead for the kind of studies Humble said he needs.”
See also the Arizona Republic’s interview of Will Humble on his decision to reject new conditions. Mr. Humble said:
“I’ll concede that the clinical-trial type of research is controlled by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) and they are pretty strict when it comes to clinical trials, when it comes to the use of testing medical marijuana. But there are all kinds of studies that can be conducted that don’t need NIDA approval.”
Arizona Department of Health Services Rejects Petitions to Add New Conditions for Obtaining Medical Marijuana
The following is the text of a July 19, 2012, blog post by Will Humble, the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services:
“The voter approved list of conditions that already qualify patients for an AZ Medical Marijuana Registration Card (with a doctor’s certification) includes any of the following: any chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition (or its treatment) that causes severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, severe and persistent muscle spasms, wasting, or seizures, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease. The AZ Medical Marijuana Act also requires us to periodically accept petitions to permanently add new medical conditions to the list of conditions that qualify folks for a card.
We accepted petitions from the public to add new medical conditions back in January. Folks submitted numerous articles as a part their petitions for PTSD 1; PTSD 2; Depression; Migraines; and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. We also received lots of informal comments regarding adding PTSD; Depression; Migraines; Generalized Anxiety Disorder and General comments. We also heard in person testimony from dozens of folks at our public hearing in May.
Because my guiding principle for making the decision was to use science and research, we contracted with the U of A College of Public Health to do an evidence review of published scientific studies to help us to make a more informed decision. You can see the UA’s analyses for Depression; Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Migraine Headaches; and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on our petition website. The UA used the GRADE methodology to evaluate the quality of the studies looking at the benefits and harms of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the conditions that were petitioned to add to the list of qualifying conditions for a Medical Marijuana Registration card. Also, our ADHS Medical Advisory Committee reviewed and analyzed the data and provided me with recommendations earlier this week.
We heard and received a host of moving stories from the public both on-line and during our a public hearing in May. Many of the commenters and folks that testified self-reported that they believe Cannabis provided relief for the petitioned conditions. However, our literature review found limited scientific evidence to document whether Cannabis is helpful or not for the petitioned conditions or that support permanently adding the petitioned conditions to the statutory list of qualifying debilitating conditions identified in the Act. In short- I didn’t approve the petitions because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using Cannabis to treat or provide relief for the petitioned conditions.
However, some of the petitioned conditions (such as migraine headaches) already qualify patients for a medical marijuana registration card if they cause severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, severe and persistent muscle spasms, wasting, or seizures.
Whatever you think of the decision, just know that our team and I really took an objective and close look at the scientific evidence before making this decision. And remember, the Act provides for a judicial review of this decision and a continuing petition process. In fact, we’ll be accepting petitions again next week.”