Medical Marijuana Dispensary Lottery Coming Tuesday, and Will Be Streamed Live Online

If you follow Arizona's medical marijuana program as closely as sports fans follow their teams, this one's for you -- the dispensary lottery will be streaming live online Tuesday.

The applicants have different odds of obtaining the approval to start up a dispensary on "Selection Tuesday," as there are various amounts of applicants in each of the 126 regions, called "Community Health Analysis Areas."

According to Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble's blog, there were applicants in 99 of the 126 regions. Of those 99 regions, Humble approximates 75 of them had two or more applicants, which will be subject to the lottery.

Therefore, 387 of the 486 people who applied for the chance to run a dispensary will come out as losers on Tuesday if their ball doesn't come out of the device known as the "Atom Action Bubble Top Bingo Blower."

The lottery itself is closed to the public, so streaming it online is just about the only way to alleviate the concerns of people thinking the fix is in.

The state health department can't identify which person represents which number in the lottery, so you'd have to know an applicant's number -- or be the applicant -- to see if they've won.

Here's how it's going down, according to Humble's explanation:

We'll be using a device that blows balls inside of a clear cage to randomly select the successful applicant in each CHAA. Applicants will be assigned a random code in advance... and the person with the code that matches the ball that blows into the chamber will be allocated a Registration Certificate. We'll repeat this process for each of the competitive CHAAs. The process will be webcast live on a URL that we identify a few days before August 7. The Act doesn't allow us to identify the successful applicants by name or even business name publicly- so the live announcement will be made using the code that only the applicants will have. Each applicant will receive their unique identifier electronically so they'll know whether they won their CHAA drawing via the webcast. The Certificates will be mailed later that day.

Everyone who's selected for a "Dispensary Registration Certificate" has about a year to get their joint ready for operation, Humble says.

Compassion First -- which has been involved in some of the litigation involving the state's medical marijuana program -- is the group setting up the broadcast.

You can watch the lottery starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday by clicking here, or, if you're just reading this the day of, you can watch it below:

Watch live streaming video from azdhs at

You can watch the recording after the fact when it's posted on the ADHS dispensary website.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley