Feel left out of the Arizona medical-marijuana business?
The Arizona Department of Health Services just announced that it will begin taking applications for new dispensaries this summer.
This is the first time the state will be reviewing new applications for dispensary operating certificates since a lottery was held in 2012 that resulted the current roll-out in Arizona of nearly 90 medical-cannabis retail stores.
The lack of a revised rules process for the medical-marijuana program, a situation detailed in a New Times article last week, won’t impact the new application process, says Holly Ward, DHS spokeswoman.
The DHS announced the news on its website late last week: “The Department will accept dispensary registration certificate applications this summer, following the allocation process and requirements inrules. This announcement will be updated at least 30 calendar days before the date the Department begins accepting applications. More information will be posted on this Dispensary webpage as it becomes available.”
Amateurs need not apply. The nonprofit companies that run dispensaries involve teams of people who know to run a successful small business, navigate a maze of regulations, negotiate with property owners and — most importantly — have access to a healthy stash of cash, because it’ll be expensive to launch such a business. However, one requirement the original dispensaries had to meet that no longer exists is the rule requiring applicants to have $150,000 in the bank, because that rule was repealed in December 2012.