What follows below is the abbreviated text of my letter to Will Humble dated February 18, 2011. You may also read or download a copy of the actual letter.
February 18, 2011
Will Humble, Director
Arizona Department of Health Services
150 N. 18th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Re: Comments to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Proposed Rules to be Promulgated Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2801, et. Seq., Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Laws
Dear Mr. Humble:
I am the creator of a website called “Arizona Medical Marijuana Law” found on the internet at www.arizonamedicalmarijuanalaw.com. The purpose of this website is to inform the public about the new law created by the voters’ approval of Proposition 203. Although this new website is just shy of seven weeks old, it will have close to 20,000 visitors this month because it contains a treasure trove of information about this new law.
I am an Arizona attorney who has been practicing business law in Arizona since 1980. Since I started counting in 2002, I have formed over 3,000 Arizona limited liability companies, for profit corporations and nonprofit corporations. As of the date of this letter, I have been hired by more than 30 groups that intend to apply for a dispensary registration certificate. What follows are my suggested changes and comments to the proposed Rules.
1. The Lottery. Eliminate the lottery and replace it with a selection system based on the quality of the application and the applicant. Our country has been a country where people succeeded on merit, not on government give-aways. DHS should pick the applicants that are best qualified and most likely to operate a successful business. The people of Arizona deserve the best dispensary owners, not a group of winners who are lucky to have their names drawn out of a hat. The application fee of $5,000 is sufficient to pay for a review and analysis of each application. State in detail the criteria on which applications will be graded. Create a point system and say that dispensary registration certificates will be awarded to the top 124 scores. Provide in the Rules that if any of the 124 applicants selected for a license fails to actually obtain its dispensary license within one year, the dispensary registration certificate will be revoked and a new dispensary registration certificate be offered to the applicant whose total score was 125th and go down the list if other entities fail to open their dispensaries within the designated time period.
I submit to you that selecting dispensary owners by a lottery is the surest way for DHS to get sued and to cost the State of Arizona a large amount of defense money it does not have. The current Rules are totally lacking in any guidance or requirements for conducting a lottery. Here are just a few of the almost unlimited problems with a lottery: (more…)