Arizona Republic: “Medical-marjiuana dispensaries will have to employ a medical director at their operations, as state health officials require, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ruled. The non-profits could begin opening this summer. Judge Richard Gama’s May 1 decision is an important one because it could prevent abuse of medical marijuana, said Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.”
The following is what Will Humble said about the court’s decision in this case:
“One of the outstanding legal uncertainties regarding our implementation of AZ Medical Marijuana Act has been the Compassion First v. Brewer lawsuit that challenged our authority to require future dispensaries to have a Medical Director. We’ve always thought dispensary medical direction was a key component to making sure that future dispensaries act in the best interest of patients and prevent recreational diversion. After a judge’s ruling today, it looks like we’ll be OK.
Today a Maricopa Superior Court judge denied the Plaintiffs’ “Motion for Leave” to Amend their previous Complaint (which the court invalidated some of our dispensary selection criteria). The Compassion First were attempting to re-open the case to challenge our requirement that dispensaries have a medical director.
In his opinion (that largely tracks our argument), the judge denied their Motion, finding that the Plaintiffs failed to provide an adequate basis for declining to bring the medical director challenge in their initial complaint and that we (and the public) would be unduly prejudiced if the Court were to grant their Motion. Of course, the Compassion First plaintiffs could always appeal- but (for now) the upshot is that we can require future dispensaries to have medical direction.”