Between April and June, qualified patients can begin possessing and growing marijuana, and approved dispensaries can start indoor cultivation.

By October or November, dispensaries can sell homegrown weed.


The store’s operations manager, Allan Sobol, speaks with Troy Dore, who hopes to obtain a marijuana recommendation to treat his severe back spasms.
The store’s operations manager, Allan Sobol, speaks with Troy Dore, who hopes to obtain a marijuana recommendation to treat his severe back spasms.
Companies are pre-registering for medical-marijuana cards now, but patients won't be able to apply to the state until April.
Companies are pre-registering for medical-marijuana cards now, but patients won't be able to apply to the state until April.

You'll need a "debilitating medical condition" to qualify for marijuana under Proposition 203.

That's quote, unquote. Prop 203 defines exactly what kind of disease or malady qualifies.

That is, cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig's, Crohn's, or Alzheimer's will do. So will any medical condition that causes wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.

But all you really must have is a doctor's opinion saying you've got "severe and chronic pain."

Many — if not most — of the medical-marijuana consumers in California, Montana, and Colorado cite chronic and/or severe pain as their ailment.

For sure, it will be tougher to get a card here than in California, where patients qualify with ailments as minor as insomnia.

And before you can apply for a card, obtaining a recommendation for marijuana might take longer than the super-quick diagnoses seen in some states. DHS director Humble, an appointee of former Governor Janet Napolitano, presumably wants his Republican masters to keep him employed, so he has taken a somewhat antagonistic stance toward the law. He says he takes issue with recommendations in Colorado, which often require "only a 15-minute appointment and $150 bucks on the barrelhead."

What he could do about this is unclear. After all, many legitimate doctor's appointments take 15 minutes or less.

Perhaps when it all shakes out, some kind of hard evidence will be needed to prove pain. Then, the Arizona program might well be called "Pot for Old People."

Because, truth is, if you're older than 40 and don't qualify today, you probably soon will. Chronic pain is a reality for many middle-aged and older people, especially those injured years or decades ago. As for "severe" — that's up to you. Demanding a standard for "severe" clearly would be difficult, since people have different pain thresholds.

The most important step in getting a card will be finding a doctor to make the recommendation. But it shouldn't be hard. Prop 203 allows recommendations from a wide swath of the medical field: medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, naturopaths, and homeopaths.

Dr. Christy Cline, a naturopathic doctor with a practice in North Phoenix, says she would definitely consider recommending marijuana for people with severe nausea, loss of muscle mass, or pain.

"There are lots of scenarios [where] I think it's very beneficial," she says. "My philosophy is keeping people away from the synthetic. They're addicted to pharmaceuticals simply to get by in life. That's the tragedy in society right now — the pill-pushing and the addiction that happens to the brain chemistry. That's where the marijuana comes in and helps."

Yet Cline knows she's going to have to watch out for people who come to her simply because they want pot.

"We'll be extra-cautious, the same way [we are] when somebody asks for hydrocodone or Ambien," she says.

New Times talked to two would-be dispensary operators who say they will have a licensed physician on their business' board of directors. Another hopeful dispensary owner said her husband is a physician.

Prop 203 doesn't prevent a physician from working directly for a dispensary.

Once you get the physician's recommendation, you turn in your application to the health department with a fee — probably in the ballpark of $50 (this hasn't been determined yet) — plus a statement pledging not to "divert" the pot to anyone who doesn't have a card.

The card expires a year after it's issued but can be renewed.

Another businessman, Steve Schafer of Michigan, plans to open a Phoenix clinic that will do nothing but connect people with doctors who will recommend marijuana. In his home state, doctors affiliated with his company have recommended pot for 8,000 of Michigan's about 25,000 cardholders, he says.

"There's a real need," Schafer says. "We see the people who are reaching out to us."

DHS Director Humble, charged with overseeing the planned regulations, says he'll investigate capping the number of recommendations a single doctor can make — though there appears to be nothing in the law that allows such a move.


Medical Marijuana Dispensaries of Arizona's Allan Sobol wants the planned rules to be stringent enough to avoid a public backlash against Prop 203 but loose enough to allow a robust industry.

"You don't want to kill the goose that's going to lay the golden eggs," he says.

Sure, the businesses will be designated as not-for-profit, but they could end up paying their top employees and contract workers hefty salaries, he says.

Shortly before the election, Sobol's company set up a mock dispensary in a nearly vacant strip mall near Interstate 17 and Bell Road. It was a smart move. Just about every media outlet in town dropped by to look at the display cases full of moss in mason jars and pictures of would-be patients on the walls.

It wasn't just a publicity stunt, though — his business already is making money.

The shop can't sell real pot yet, of course, but the company has been using the site to teach classes on how to open a dispensary. Sobol's recruiting would-be pot-store owners who'll use his firm to help them launch their businesses.

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93 comments
Bmx_sick25
Bmx_sick25

One of the main thought to look at is, Why is the government putting such a horrible outlook on marijuana when it's clarly being used for medical reasons and is helping so many in neeed. Maybe marijuana isnt as bad as "politics" or others describe. THC is actually in the process of being one of the best fights against " lung cancer ", look it up.

Wheelchairs
Wheelchairs

Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

Wheelchairs

not stupid
not stupid

so you are saying a dumb jerk 20 yr old can bring marijuana from california to az if his medical card is in cali only???also smokig and driving is legal.......tell me no because I just heard it happen!!!

MMAPA
MMAPA

Arizona lawmakers need to ensure Arizona's indigent patient population is included in Prop 203. The high cost of medicine, doctors visits, state fees, and sales tax can easily put medical marijuana (MMJ) out of reach for many patients in need.

The Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of America (MMAPA) is a community based non-profit focused on providing access to affordable alternative medicine and treatments. MMAPA is launching a Chapter in AZ to ensure no patient throughout Arizona is left behind. Please come meet our community outreach team at The Green Relief Expo April 14-16th in Glendale, AZ!

For more information, visit us at www.MMAPA.us

PCPSC, LLC
PCPSC, LLC

I think this was well written and covered alot of questions people have.

Prescott Cannabis Patient Screening Center, LLCPCPSC, LLC specializes in providing Doctor Recommendations for Medical Cannabis, Detailed Treatment Plans, Patient Verifications.www.prescottmedcard.com

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Icekola
Icekola

$400 an Ounce? Are you kidding me? That's a bit much-- Or is my Blue Cross/Blue Shield going to cover most of it and I pay my max $35 Copay? If it's $400 out of pocket for an OZ -- Just keep supporting the cartels and continue to pay the MUCH cheaper street price....

Paul Rubin
Paul Rubin

You know whats "funny" about this election is the votes that put the measure over the top really should not have counted. If you got to vote in Arizona's General Election, you'll know the process is to complete a broken line with a pen that is supplied. You're told that any deviation from this will invalidate your ballot, but it didn't. County Records across the State took ballots where folks had circled the two broken lines or hand wrote their decision and resubmitted a corrected ballot. Can you say "hanging Chad"?

Do be fooled thinking Arizona just got a billion dollar industry. Think about it. The best deal will still be the "tax free", cartel sponsored, guy in the street.

Now with the strike down of Prop 200, everyone in the State, regardless of citizenship or residency, can vote. Oh sure you might get caught and a hand slap but think about it if you don't get caught? Next up in 2012, passage of recreational weed. Whoo Hooo

Tomato
Tomato

Well, guest, maybe law enforcement in Arizona should spend more time monotoring actual crime and far less trying to inflict right-wing Republican (read Mormon) morality on the state's citizens. I'm sure you're right that Arizona will over-regulate (translate: hassle the hell) out of legal growers and clinics. Just like Joe Arpaiom et al have hassled the hell out of gardeners and maids, while letting the killer coyotes and drug lords run amok.

Mmjconsultingaz
Mmjconsultingaz

MMJ Consulting is a team of dedicated experts that will help you establish your medical marijuana dispensary. Nobody on our team is personally involved in securing a license for themselves of business group. We feel there is a conflict of interest in providing consulting services to would be dispensaries while attempting to secure our own license.

We have obtained many of the actual applications that were successful in other states. Based off of this knowledge we have developed a system that identifies the key factors that have provided for success historically.

Contact MMJ Consulting Arizona for solid advice on how to secure licensing for your group.http://mmjconsulting.wordpress...

Guest
Guest

Michelle Renteria - do you have any idea how to make an intelligent comment? Your use of profanity brands you as a radical without a clue. If you think it is so bad here in Arizona, MOVE. We don't need whiners like you here.

Guest
Guest

This article paints an ureal picture of the amount of tax revenue that the state will see from pot sales. We will be lucky to see half the amount qouted, and much of that will be used to monitor the program. I don't see a big win here, just more problems.

J Curwen
J Curwen

That will only be true if the state spends too much effort monitoring the program.

Guest
Guest

God made liquor, fool. Fruit has been fermenting for centuries without help from man.

Peckerwood white boy
Peckerwood white boy

I have been making a very good living off of selling pot since 1981. i haven't worked a straight job since then.

Michelle Renteria
Michelle Renteria

This whole state F...n sucks......Make the Dam Shit Legal already.......Create huge markets for large manufacturing businesses with hard working class people....put very small amounts of MJ in a cigarrette type and allow them to be sold just like Alcohol....If minors abuse it...Then boo F....n who....THEY ALREADY ABUSE ALCHOHOL. I DRANK MORE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 THAN I EVER HAVE OVER THE AGE OF 21......Move on from all this legal CRAP AND LEGALIZE IT ALREADY.....Everyone has tried it.....everyone will try it......and most of our crazy ASS Society F.....n needs IT.....Mary Jane you will Sell Baby.....They can't keep you down!

Rrffcc1
Rrffcc1

Folks, I would be overjoyed if this could become a reality. Sad to say, there's just too darned much $$ in keeping this all illegal. Legislators, lawyers, bureaucrats, politicians...all of them benefit from the illegal trade, and they don't see enough profit for themselves otherwise.

And the political atmosphere...suffice to say we are passing from nasty into downright corrosive. No help there.

By my count this is the third time such a measure has passed in Arizona, and it's been undermined and rendered ineffective the previous two. Look at the headlines elsewhere...the Powers are quickly lining up to defeat the issue yet again.

You must change this government, and usher most (if not all) of the current political leaders far off into retirement (or into some other more deserving state) before you can have true change. Oh, and most of the Bar will need to go as well. Big job.

Porfirio McDiaz
Porfirio McDiaz

Alcohol should be restricted to those who can prove they need it for pain. Recreational use of this dangerous drug is incurring more social costs than all of the other drugs combined. It's time to start treating these addicts as the drain on societry that they are. At the very least there should be a process to make it available only to those who are able to demonstrate through testing that it doesn't affect their ability to make decisions,and doesn't cause them to behave in a belligerent or dangerous manner.

Jim
Jim

Pot on the streets of phoenix for decent good pot runs about $25-45 a quarter ounce and it is easy to find!

Jim
Jim

Right now I am on the CA card and am glad it is NOT completely legal. We set up the AZ law almost perfectly and it passed. Sobol only has 124 dispensary licenses to give away.Sobol should give clean criminal record, qualified card holders the opportunity to own a dispensary first, then ONLY a Arizona clean criminal record, qualified resident second, and then outside interests none. Bud-tenders should be hired if they are qualified AZ card holders. Dispensaries are called Co-ops. Co-ops can grow up to 6 mature plants at any one time per registered co-op member and must dispense 1 gram FREE per DAY to any co-op member who can show proof of very low income. Remember this is a non-profit Co-Op!!

Locally grown pot, by local AZ card residents, run by local AZ card residents, dispensed by AZ card bud-tenders---KEEP IT LOCAL ONLY MR. SOBOL

J Curwen
J Curwen

Sobol has nothing to do with who gets licenses.

Marcy
Marcy

Arizona law wouldn't permit Sobol to give preference to "qualified card holders", ignoring for the moment that there aren't any "qualified card holders" in Arizona. Why would you insist on only a clean Arizona criminal record? There is no requirement that low income potheads get free pot, sorry to disappoint you and your fellow slacker potheads.

Znd
Znd

Marijuana should be completely legalized. Anyone who wants to get it should be able to. It should be sold in all quantities and all qualities. Pounds of chronic for rich people having parties to replace cases of champagne, half-grams of shwag for homeless people to replace their 40 ounce malt liquor.

The only regulations should be about cultivation & distribution. The cultivation should be as clean and natural as possible-no additives, no chemicals, but indoor growing should be allowed. The distribution should be limited. The number of crops one growing company can yield, the number of a certain variety of seeds they can buy, and the number of stores they can operate should be especially low, like 3 within a 100 mile radius. Really, this should be the rule for all industries, but since we are creating a new one, let's create an industry where outsourcing is minimal and monopolization is impossible. This will create an industry where each municipality will have several prosperous marijuana dealers.

It should also be taxed very, very high, to help balance the budget.

This medicinal thing is just a ploy to get the squares to vote for it. The actual relative difference pot would make to a terminal cancer patient is about the same as it would make to someone who works a lot, and has a lot of stress. Or, someone who cant find a job, and is stressed.

Ultimately, it would work out though. If we can handle alcohol as a society, we can handle pot. Pot would actually turn many alcoholics and even some hard-drug addicts, into stoners. Anyone who has ever smoked pot knows how crazy it would sound, when you're stoned, to go out and try to do the things you'd have to do to get ahold of illegal drugs like heroin, meth & crack.

I don't suffer from any debilitating illnesses or injuries, but I have used pot medicinally for a long time. It stabilizes my mood, it makes me appreciate the important things in life, it makes me feel guilty when I do anything that jeopardizes the stability of my life, like quitting jobs, having arguments with loved ones, or engaging in any other illegal, or violent activity.

The world needs to GROW UP, and grow bud.

Marcy
Marcy

In your case you should just grow up.

Mistalee
Mistalee

I agree with you on some points, but knowing a cancer patient on medical cannabis, I can tell you that you are plumb full of shit if you don't think cannabis can make a huge difference in their lives.

Bry
Bry

I agree with you on some points, (and disagree with you on others) however, medical marijuana is not a ploy. For someone trying to survive HIV or cancer, medical marijuana is a viable, effective remedy for many ailments associated with these conditions (such as traumatizing pain and the inability to ingest adequate nutrition). The wasting (lipodystrophy), nausia and chronic pain associated with these types of conditions and their treatments (i.e. chemotherapy and some HIV meds are known to cause some of the above ailments), can weaken the body's natural healing processes. For someone already in critical condition, this can mean the difference between life and death. Marijuana treats these ailments and gives patients of chronic illnesses a significant assistance in things like maintaining a healthy appetite in order to keep adequate nutrition. There is no gimmick to the fact that marijuana has medical uses which can save lives.

Bry
Bry

I'm glad the Voter Protection Act is in place, but I'm concerned about medical marijuana being financially unavailable. If the dispenseries are considering charging $400 per ounce, that's a maximum of $500 per week ( at (400*2.5)/2). I know that business reports from states that had already legalized marijuana that the cost of production for 1 oz. of potent hydroponic marijuana is about $30-$35 (and chronic is about $45/oz.). In places where the cost of living (and thus general income) is higher, it may make sense to have outrageous prices. Here in Arizona where many families are struggling to keep having food and shelter, this type of price gouging is completely uncalled for. Considering that the law provides that this is medication and not recreation, there should be no luxury tax and there should be no price gouging. The reasonable cost of an ounce considering expenses and how many ounces a plant produces, is between $45.00 and $70.00 depending on potency. If a plant yields about 20-25 pounds, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 375 ounces. If a dispensery charges $400 per ounce that's about $150,000 per plant, per yield. I know that production costs, even when considering the cost of licensing, etc. are no where near $150,000.00 per plant, per yield. $400 per ounce is unreasonable, and if that ends up being the pricing, then the patients, many of which are poor and cannot work, will not be able to afford the medication. Thus it would be financially unavailable, and if this occurs, it would make sense to allow the indigent patients to grow their own medication based on the unavailability. For many people with life-threatening diseases, the availability of their medication could mean the difference between life and death.

Jim
Jim

Co-ops here in CA dispense 1 gram of great pot for FREE per day per indigent. I know as I have a very serious condition and many times cannot afford even a mini-nug eighth for $35 and have filled out the paperwork and now acquire for free 1 gram per day.

Co-ops should be allowed to grow up to 6-12 plants per legally registered patient and be able to dispense that portion free to low income patients while selling the rest to cover costs. Be sure and attend all meetings before April and let Mr.Sobol know your views.

Pmassie944
Pmassie944

I know you are not in the real world with those numbers. I have never heard of any plant yielding 20-25 pounds. Most indoor plants will yield an average of an ounce per plant in finished product. In California most dispensaries sell by the gram at 12-25 dollars per.Please redo your math add in salaries for the growers, tenders, and clippers needed to put that weed on your table

Mistalee
Mistalee

You should expect more like a quarter pound dry from a mature indoor plant. Outdoor plants have been known to grow the size of small trees, 20-25 feet tall, depending on variety.

J Curwen
J Curwen

These are more realistic figures. Outdoor growing here in AZ is problematic, unless perhaps one is growing up north. The biggest plants I ever saw were about 8 feet tall, but my experience in that area is limited, and that was in a more temperate state. Growing in Phoenix or Tucson you'll need to figure in also the costs of air conditioning. Lights generate heat, and a lot of it. Overhead costs will be substantial for dispensary growers.

Mistalee
Mistalee

In the 1970s they were putting that weed on my table for $15 an ounce. And dodging the cops while they were doing it. $400 an ounce for domestic cannabis is ridiculous.

Bry
Bry

Also, for people with no income and a lot of medical expenses, $400 per ounce is too expensive for an out of pocket medical expense, especially considering that a gram would last about a day or two, and we're still talking prices comparable to a utility bill. No medical coverage is required to cover the cost, and I know that I don't have $300-$500 per week to spend on medication. I have multiple serious illnesses, and am unable to work. I'd have to sue to qualify for disability, and if it weren't for other's generosity, I would be dead right now. For the many others in scenarios similar to mine, the idea that life-saving medication is only going to be regularly available to those with a $2000 per month extra disposible income is outrageous, offensive and in some cases like mine, life-threatening.

Bry
Bry

Forgive me, I was assuming the plants were actual 7-8 foot tall medical marijuana plants (granted that takes a few years at most). For a plant to yield only an ounce it would have to be the size of a coffee pot. Within a year, a plant can be over 2 feet tall, without any special treatment, such as hydroponic growing and organic nutrients (plant food). So with these conveniences which will be used in growing facilities, we're talking about a 3 foot growth per year. And this isn't California. compare the prices of everything else in California with the prices of things in Arizona. Then consider the statewide average income. California allowed dispenseries to charge prices that were comparable to the prices charged on the black market. The same should not happen in Arizona.

J Curwen
J Curwen

You probably ought to read up on the subject. Your information is way off the mark on many points. I suggest Jorge Cervantes' book, Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible, which can be bought from Amazon for $20.

Popeye
Popeye

I predict that the Mexican drug cartels aren't going to roll over and let medical pot put their lucrative drug business out of business. How many heads will roll before people figure out they are getting into some dangerous business.

Between dopers looking to rip off the legal pot growers and the cartels looking to either muscle in on the business or put them out of business I hope everyone looking to get into the business is going to spend some serious money on security.

Interesting times ahead.

J Curwen
J Curwen

I'm an old fogie, too. That still reads like delusional horse shit to me. Read the damned text of the law before spouting off, gramps.

Mmjconsultingaz
Mmjconsultingaz

This "Billion Dollar Industry" is a window of opportunity for many individuals that would like to enter the business of growing and serving the needs of patients. Unfortunately this window of opportunity is a small window. If you are interested in getting into this industry, or investing in it, it is imperative to put together a team that can deliver on all of the requirements that are necessary to secure licensing. MMJ Consulting Arizona is a firm that specializes in helping people put together their business and applications for licensing. Our team consists of Arizona Attorneys, former elected official AZPOST trained in Arizona Civil law, internet marketing specialists, I.T. specialists, hydroponic and conventional grow specialists, etc.

If you are serious about entering the industry you have to get started now, the application date is rapidly approaching. Don’t delay, contact us today for a free consultation.

This IS the way to ensure success in obtaining your licensing. http://mmjconsulting.wordpress...

alchemy
alchemy

When something is as or more expensive then the illegal product, it is not a solution for people that are sick. Any patient should be able to grow what they want, so it is affordable for those that need it.

Captain Obvious
Captain Obvious

There's no such thing as "Medical" marijuana. I looked through out the literature, the PDR, everywhere, and so no reference to marijuana being used in the medical community to treat anything. In fact, the opposite is true. I have found a number of medical references telling the tale how terrible marijuana is in creating psychosis in youngsters, disabling an individual's ambition, and creating dependancy. How wonderful. Finally, something has come along to put the liberal into a complete coma. A conservative's dream come true!

Docbob498th
Docbob498th

Captain oblivious, When you take the same course of action as you have in the past and expect different results, you're either insane or pig-ignorant. Kind of like the brain dead Zonies who blindly believe the repibliCON rant and vote for them year after year. If the conservatives have the answers, why isn't Az. a heaven on Earth? After all, the CONS have been in almost total control of this state for the 25 yrs. I've lived here.

Bry
Bry

I suppose your research results are a good representation of your information resource pool. Chances are that you either ignored or avoided the medical literature about marijuana when "looking through the literature". If you do your research without a bias, your results will inevitably be different. I know this because you can find medical studies supporting marijuana's medical utility (and I do mean peer-reviewed/ scholarly articles) very easily if you were to even halfway try.

J Curwen
J Curwen

More like Captain Oblivious.

Jesse
Jesse

You are so blind to the truth is is sickening,

Captain Obvious
Captain Obvious

Blind? Please, point out some reference material. I'm not blind, I'm curious, you dumbass.

Jesse
Jesse

Your serious too. LOL.

 
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