Print Judge opens door for first two marijuana dispensaries
Written by Christopher Fox Graham   
Saturday, 22 December 2012 14:58

A court ruling earlier this month paved the way for the first medical marijuana dispensaries to open in Arizona.

Two marijuana plants grows legally in an Arizona home in June 2011. Arizona voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010. Following a Maricopa County Superior Court judge’s ruling last  week, the first two dispensaries immediately opened in Arizona, selling medical marijuana to card-carrying patients.Dispensaries waiting to open around the state have been on hold pending numerous lawsuits from local and county officials attempting to fight Arizona’s Proposition 203, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which voters passed in 2010.

However, a ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Gordon on Dec. 3 definitively ruled in favor of a dispensary owner, paving the way for dispensaries to open across Arizona.

“In Judge Gordon’s ruling, he recognized that there is disagreement with his analysis,” Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said. “I have been told that the parties to the litigation — the Arizona attorney general and the Maricopa County attorney — will appeal the ruling by Judge Gordon, and have asked him for a stay of his order.” Despite the possible appeal, Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies opened the next day in Tucson and started dispensing marijuana to legal card holders Tuesday, Dec. 11. Arizona Organix opened Dec. 6 and immediately began legally selling marijuana to customers in Glendale.

When a dispensary will open in the Verde Valley is unclear. One will be permitted in Sedona’s Community Health Analysis Area while another will be permitted in an area that includes the rest of the Verde Valley. Only one license is issued per analysis area, determined by a lottery if there was more than one applicant per area.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Dec. 19, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.