Governor Jan Brewer said today she has signed a waiver which will allow Attorney General Tom Horne to try to close down the marijuana dispensaries that her state health department is in the process of licensing.
State health officials issued the first 97 allocations today to operate medical marijuana dispensaries. But some threatened legal actions could upset the whole process.
The 2010 voter-approved law bars health department officials from disclosing the winners or even where they will open. Health director Will Humble said the first shops could be running by the end of the month. But there are legal hurdles. Flagstaff attorney Lee Phillips said his clients did not get allocations, possibly because others who were ineligible were in the drawing.
State health department auditors Connie Phillips and Kurt Schulte time the ping pong balls in the Atom Action Bubble Top Bingo Blower used Tuesday to select who gets to operate marijuana dispensaries around the state.
Plans are to use one of those machines like the Arizona Lottery. The ping pong balls it pop out will determine which of the 486 applicants are going to walk away with a certificate that awards them permission to be one of the 126 sites where marijuana can be sold. Some areas of the state have no applicants. But the district on the east side of Flagstaff, for example, has 13 alone. State health director Will Humble said just being one of those chosen today is not a license to immediately start selling the drug.
The 2010 voter-approved medical marijuana law allows those with a doctor's recommendation to obtain up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. While the measure bars use of the drug on public school campuses, there is no such ban at colleges and universities.