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Medical Marijuana Arizona Update: Possible Medcial Marijuana Program Changes

Medical Marijuana Arizona Update: Possible Medcial Marijuana Program Changes

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 01/06/2011 in Medical Marijuana Laws

In the wake of releasing some of the nation’s strictest medical marijuana program rules, Arizona officials have turned to the public for guidance on how to possibly update the rules governing how Proposition 203 is implemented. Prop 203 was passed by voters in November, which will legalize medical marijuana in Arizona for qualifying patients.

The state’s Department of Health Services has surveyed nearly 1,000 residents as part of an effort to further refine the Arizona medical marijuana program. Department officials identified some of the top suggestions, which include:

– Amend requirements for establishing a physician-patient relationship.

– Lower the fees, mainly for patients with limited income.

– Reconsider the requirement for a medical director.

– Establish a preliminary approval process for dispensary applications.

– Amend or delete the 70-30 rule, which requires dispensaries to grow at least 70 percent their marijuana and prohibits them from acquiring from or selling to other dispensaries more than 30 percent.

Many responders also requested to add qualifying conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia and depression to the list of approved debilitating conditions. But department officials said they will not accept petitions to add medical conditions until all the rules are finalized. A date has not yet been announced.

Arizona medical marijuana law states that patients may cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants if they live more than 25 miles from a dispensary—but many survey responders wanted to eliminate this rule. However, the state health department can’t remove the requirement because it is required by Prop 203.

While Tom Salow, acting manager of administrative counsel and rules at ADHS, reported tha a handful of survey respondents said, “You guys suck, start over,” many of those surveyed responded positively to many of the proposed rules. For instance, there was overwhelming support for the two-year requirement for dispensary agents.

If the Arizona Department of Heath actually implements some of the public’s feedback, the proposed rules may eventually not be so strict. The department did not say when it expects to make a decision, but we’ll keep you posted on any new developments.

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