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Monday, March 28, 2011

Rules completed for Medical Marijuana program

ADHS has finished rulemaking for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program, and posted the new guidelines this morning. The rules outline the application process for qualifying patients, caregivers, dispensaries and dispensary agents, as well as requirements for each. The program will begin on April 14, 2011.

“It has been our mission since the initiative passed to make this the best medical marijuana program in the country,” said Will Humble, ADHS Director. “Our goal from the outset was to set the stage for a medical marijuana program, as opposed to a recreational one.”

Department objectives include: ensuring access to patients across the state, setting clear expectations for the certifications and dispensaries, awarding dispensary certificates in an effective way and establishing reasonable compliance and oversight provisions. The rules package details how the system works from beginning to end. Also, ADHS has included screening criteria for dispensary applicants in competitive areas of the state. While these criteria will not disqualify an applicant from being considered, they will be used to determine the most suitable candidates.

The next step is the qualifying patient certification process, which begins on April 14. Dispensary applications are available and will be accepted beginning June 1. A set of Frequently Asked Questions is available to help people understand the processes. All of the information is available on the ADHS website at www.azdhs.gov/prop203.

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