AZ MMJ Update: Advocates File Suit with AZ Court of Appeals to force DoH to permit Dispensaries

Okay we have Move and Countermove, now where is DOJ?

PS AZ Legislature balanced out the budget with PROJECTED REVENUE from the dispensaries that the Governor just blocked. Will she now adjust those figures?!?

…The budget impasse between Brewer and leadership was largely broken when the Ninth Floor got lawmakers to revise their revenue projections upward, a revision that included a projected $10 million in sales tax revenue from medical marijuana….

AZStarNet

Arizona attorneys have filed a lawsuit seeking to force the agency that regulates the state’s medical marijuana program to accept applications to operate from would-be pot shops.

The Arizona Department of Health Services was supposed to begin accepting the applications June 1, but refused after the state sued the federal government over the program.

Department Director Will Humble says he won’t accept applications because of uncertainty about the legality of the program, pointing to the state’s lawsuit, filed in May at Gov. Jan Brewer’s request. That lawsuit asks a federal judge to rule on whether Arizona’s voter-approved medical marijuana law can be implemented in the face of federal law, which says pot remains illegal.

Attorneys representing would-be pot shops filed their lawsuit Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court to force the department to accept the applications.

AZ DOH Director Response here:

… the Governor and I (with the advice of attorneys) decided not to continue with full implementation of the Act until we receive clarification about whether it’s legal from the federal court.  We’ve suspended the implementation of dispensary portions of the law and aren’t currently accepting any applications.  As of today, we’ve had three groups try to apply for a dispensary certificate and we’ve turned them away….

The City of Scottsdale has gone ahead with issuing permits to dispensary applicants under the City Guidelines so movement can go ahead when the State is forced to comply with the Law and/or when DOJ backs off and/or when the Appellate Court refuses to issue the Declaratory Judgment.

AZCentral:

Overlooking legal matters at the state and federal level, the Scottsdale City Council this week granted permits to six applicants seeking to open medical-marijuana dispensaries and cultivation sites in Scottsdale….

DISPENSARIES: The City Council voted 4-2 Tuesday to award conditional-use permits to six applicants seeking to open a cultivation facility and/or a dispensary. They are the Kush Clinic, 8729 E. Manzanita Drive; Arizona Natural Selections, 8132 N. 87th Place; MMRX, 15475 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, Suite C-22; Serenity, 14666 N. 74th St.; Terramedica Natural Pharmaceuticals, 15735 N. 83rd Way; and Organic Medical Group, 7825 E. Redfield Road.

IN FAVOR: Mayor Jim Lane and Council members Lisa Borowsky, Suzanne Klapp and Ron McCullagh voted to issue the permits. Continuing the process will ensure the city complies with the law if and when the legal issues are resolved, Lane said. He is “not a proponent of marijuana usage,” but “there is no harm done in us continuing the process.” Attorney Court Rich of the Rose Law Group said it could be a violation of state law to vote down or continue the permits to a later date.

DISSENTERS: Vice Mayor Bob Littlefield and Councilman Dennis Robbins voted against the permits. Councilwoman Linda Milhaven was absent. Littlefield thought the city should wait to see how the law shakes out. “I think there is plenty of ambiguity,” he said. Robbins questioned whether the conditional uses would be compatible in the area.

WHAT’S NEXT: Though the process to accept dispensary applications is on hold, the Department of Health Services is allowed to award licenses to as many as 126 dispensaries across Arizona, including two in Scottsdale. A lottery could determine what applicant receives the dispensary license. The state will continue to issue user-ID cards for medical-marijuana.

States Rights People. MMJ should NOT be Schedule 1, period
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June 14, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Taxes.

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