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News (Media Awareness Project) - US AZ: Medical-Pot Dispensary Request Again Postponed
Title:US AZ: Medical-Pot Dispensary Request Again Postponed
Published On:2012-02-03
Source:Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Fetched On:2012-02-04 06:02:19
MEDICAL-POT DISPENSARY REQUEST AGAIN POSTPONED

A medical-marijuana dispensary request in northeast Phoenix has been
postponed a second time due to red tape in state government.

This would have been Phoenix's first medical-marijuana dispensary
request since legal issues surrounding the voter-approved law were
resolved.

The problem is that even though the legal issues are completed, the
procedures and timeline for dispensary requests are not yet complete,
Phoenix planner Alan Stephenson says.

The dispensary request was for a building on the southeastern corner
of Cave Creek and Cactus roads, currently home to a check-cashing and
gold-purchasing business. The applicant, Linda Sonder of American
Healthcare Alternatives, needed a permit plus zoning variances because
the site is closer to residences and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve
than the city ordinance allows.

The request had previously been delayed because of lawsuits
challenging the law that recently were resolved. This time it was
delayed because the Arizona Department of Health Services has not
completed its dispensary requirements, Stephenson said.

A Phoenix hearing officer is scheduled to consider the case on May
31.

According to the Department of Health Services, the new rules for
dispensaries should be completed by the end of March, with license
granting scheduled to start in April.

Phoenix has approved more than 20 medical marijuana dispensary or
cultivation sites, but because of their concentration in mostly
industrial areas, not all of them will be allowed to open. City
ordinance requests a mile between locations, and only one per
community-health assessment area, a geographic tool used by Arizona to
analyze illness concentrations.
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