Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently announced Jan. 13 that she will begin processing applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Brewer released the statement after her lawsuit was dismissed Jan. by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.
Brewer’s lawsuit stopped dispensaries from finalizing the licensing process and opening their doors just before the state was going to begin the 30-day application period.
Brewer’s decision will now allow state health officials to start the process for licensing medical marijuana dispensaries.
However, pending lawsuits could delay the licensing process to be finalized and ultimately dispensaries from opening their doors for business.
Several lawsuits are awaiting a decision in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Brewer intends to not allow workers to complete the dispensary license process until the courts finalize separate decision as to the governing rules over dispensary sites.
Brewer halted the dispensary license process in May 2011, when she thwarted the Department of Health from licensing dispensaries, though she continued to allow the department to issue identification to those who qualified for medical marijuana use.
Arizona voters approved the law in 2010, which allowed the Department of Health Services to issue permits for as many as 126 medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state.
Chris Jacques, Planning Director for the city discussed how Peoria is handling the medical marijuana situation.
Jacques and his department are responsible for managing the conditional use permits ( CUPs ) zoning process for medical marijuana dispensaries. Action on CUPs is taken by the Planning Zoning Commission, subject to appeal to the city council. Each city maintains its own zoning restrictions and processes for medical marijuana facilities.
Jacques reminds citizens the city is not involved in the rulemaking or process for dispensary licenses. The city was responsible for identifying locations, standards, and a process through its zoning ordinance for appropriate areas for dispensaries and cultivation sites. A map of qualifying locations based on existing zoning in place can be viewed on the city’s website, City of Peoria, AZ .
Currently, there will be three CUPs for dispensaries allowed in Peoria. The zoning prerequisites for obtaining a license are only administered through the Arizona Department of Health Services. Jacques said the approved CUPs in the city are:
– – Desert Leaf Foundation: 9240 W. Northern Ave., Suite 103
– – Arizona Grown Healthcare: 20340 N. Lake Pleasant Road, Suite 107
– – Arizona Natural Selections Patient Center: 9275 W. Peoria Ave.
Jacques noted that CUPs must be exercised within 18 months of receipt, meaning the license granted by the ADHS, or it becomes null and void, and then, a new CUP would have to be received.
For specific zoning requirements in Peoria, visit City of Peoria, AZ , then go to the Planning and Community Development page.