Dozens of medical-pot dispensaries dot the state from nearly every corner since the first one, Arizona Organix of Glendale, opened in November.
A recent newsletter to patients released by the state Department of Health and obtained by New Times shows the addresses of 48 of these pioneering businesses, which teeter on the edge of a popular state law and a whimsically applied federal prohibition against cannabis.
The list below is current as of the DHS' July 31 newsletter. However, a more recent tally of dispensary companies shows that 55 have now obtained state approval to operate. An additional 38 are scheduled for inspections that precede approval.
As we reported last week, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has nixed a state deadline the latecomers had to meet in order to gain approval and renew their business licenses for next year. That means it's likely that nearly all of the 98 businesses picked for selected geographical locations in a lottery held last August will be open for business in the coming months.
More than 90 percent of Arizona's roughly 39,000 medical-marijuana patients now live within 25 miles of one of the retail stores, the state reports. Home growers and untold numbers of amateur caregivers won't like that statistic, since it means that most will be forced to pull up their last legal harvest once their registration card is renewed.
On the other hand, the numerous dispensaries sprouting up statewide will make it convenient for just about all patients to buy their medicine in an authorized store. Whether this leads to an increase in the number of Arizona patients remains to be seen. Perhaps because of the legal questions surrounding medical marijuana in Arizona, including confusion over the state-approved dispensaries versus the unauthorized cannabis clubs targeted by County Attorney Bill Montgomery and other prohibitionists, the number of patients hasn't changed much since January.
Arizona still has a long way to go to catch up to its pot-friendly neighbor, Colorado, which has nearly three times the number of medical-marijuana patients, (about 107,000 as of June 30) yet more than a million fewer total residents. As you probably heard, voters in Colorado and Washington legalized weed for all adults -- 21 and older -- in historic elections last year.
The new legalization law will undoubtedly have some effect on Colorado's medical-pot industry in the coming years. But Colorado's recent experiences on the medical front seem to indicate that Arizona's dispensaries -- kept to a maximum number by state statute -- will beat the normal odds of success for small businesses.
As a Denver Post article from March explains, the number of Colorado dispensaries has declined from 1,131 at the end of 2010 to 675 as of the article's publication, a decline of more than 40 percent. However, doing a few further calculations shows that the decline boosted the number of patients per dispensary from 95 to 159.
With 95 dispensaries and about 38,000 patients, that's a per-patient ratio of 408 for each Arizona dispensary.
Overlooking the fledgling industry's other risks, those are pretty good odds.
Scroll down for the state's list of 48 currently open dispensaries in Arizona:
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Natural Relief Clinic Inc. DBA: Green Farmacy 1191 S. Naco Hwy Bisbee 85603
Valley Healing Group Inc. 2840 Highway 95, Ste. 422 Bullhead City 86442
Organica Patient Group Inc. 856 S. AZ Route 89 Chino Valley 86323
Cathy's Compassion Center 1825 W. Dragoon Road Cochise 85606
The Desert Valley Pharmacy Inc. 1302 W. Industrial Dr. Bldg #7 Coolidge 85128
Arizona Cannabis Society LLC 8376 N. El Mirage Rd. Bldg. 2, Ste. 2 El Mirage 85338
Jamestown Center 3755 W. Houser Rd. Eloy 85231
High Mountain Health LLC 1250 S. Plaza Way Ste A Flagstaff 86001
RCH Wellness Center LLC DBA: Greenhouse of Flagstaff 460 N. Switzer Canyon Dr, Suite 100 Flagstaff 86001
Nature's AZ Medicines Inc. 16913 E. Enterprise Dr. Fountain Hills 85258
Arizona Organix 5301 W. Glendale Ave. Glendale 85301
PP Wellness Center DBA: The Greenhouse 8160 W. Union Hills Dr. Ste A 106 Glendale 85308
Globe Farmacy Inc. 200 N. Broad St. Globe 85501
Valley of the Sun Medical Dispensary Inc. 16200 W. Eddie Albert Way Goodyear 85338
Natural Herbal Remedies Inc. 752 Navajo Blvd. Holbrook 86025
CJK Inc. 2095 Northern Avenue Kingman 86409
Nature Med Inc. 5390 W. Ina Rd. Marana 85743
Ponderosa Botanical Care Inc. Ponderosa Releaf 49237 W. Papago Rd. Ste. 3 Maricopa 85139
The Giving Tree Wellness Center of Mesa Inc. 938 E. Juanita Ave. Mesa 85204
Herbal Assist Inc. DBA: Mohave Green 6870 S HWY 95 Ste 251 Mohave Valley 86440
Catalina Hills Botanical Care, Inc. 12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd. C-140 Oro Valley 85737
Overgaard Compassion Care 3838 State Route 277 Overgaard 85933
The Kind Relief Inc. 1500 Coppermine Rd. Page 86040
Arizona Natures Wellness DBA: Bloom Sky Train 14 S. 41st Pl. Phoenix 85034
Encanto Green Cross Dispensary 2620 W Encanto Blvd. Phoenix 85009
Nature's AZ Medicines Inc. 2439 W McDowell Rd. Phoenix 85009
Phoenix Relief Center Inc. 6330 S. 35th Ave. Ste 104 Phoenix 85041
The Giving Tree Center of North Phoenix Inc. 21617 N. 9th Ave. Phoenix 85027
203 Organix LLC 123 Merritt St. Prescott 86301
Wickenburg Alternative Medicine LLC 511 E. Main St. Quartzsite 85346
Greenmed, Inc. 1115 Circulo Mercado Rd. Rio Rico 85648
Zonacare DBA: Bloom Sedona 465 Jordan Rd. Sedona 86336
Phytotherapeutics of Tucson 1633 S. Highway 92, Suite 7 Sierra Vista 85635
Natural Relief Clinic Inc. DBA: Green Farmacy 24 W. Main Street Springerville 85938
Superior Organix 750 S. Belmont Superior 85173
All Greens Inc. 13431 W. Westgate Dr. Suite #103 Surprise 85378
Salubrious Wellness Clinic Inc. 2009 E. 5th St. Ste. 11 Tempe 85281
Verde Dispensary DBA: Harvest of Tempe 710 W. Elliot Rd. Ste 102 Tempe 85284
Earth's Healing Inc. 2075 E. Benson Highway Tucson 85714
Green Medicine DBA: Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies 112 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson 85710
PurpleMed Inc. 1010 S. Freeway Suite 130 Tucson 85745
Rainbow Collective Inc. 4695 N Oracle Rd. Ste #117 Tucson 85705
The Green Halo LLC 7710 S. Wilmot Rd. Tucson 85756
Medmar Tanque Verde LLC 8060 E. 22nd St. Tucson 85710
Rainbow Collective Inc. 4120 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson 85712
MMJ Apothecary 1175 W. Wickenburg Way Ste 4 Wickenburg 85390
Cannabis Research Group Inc. DBA: Route 66 Wellness Center 341 E. Route 66 Williams 86046
AAA Medical Marijuana Dispensary LLC 11200 W. Michigan Ave. Ste 5 Youngtown 85363