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Arizona Sifts Through Hordes of MMJ Patient Requests

Posted by Jason Draizin on 08/06/2012 in Medical Marijuana News

Over 2,100 residents of five West Valley, Arizona communities have applied for medical marijuana cards and are now only one-step closer to actually accessing the drug. The Arizona Department of Health Services started accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries on Monday, and is accepting them up until May 25th.

Laura Oxley, a department spokesperson, said the Arizona Department of Health Services has no idea how many applications or for how many geographical areas will receive applications. “There will be no more approved than one per area, with the grand total of possible 126. Director Humble said last week he believes it will be less than 100 that are approved in the first year,” says Oxley. Will Humble currently directs, operates, and controls the Arizona Department of Health Services. The Department provides a wide array of health related services including Arizona’s behavioral and public health systems, the Arizona State Hospital, medical and child care licensure and certification services, and the Arizona Public Health Laboratory.

Individuals seeking medical marijuana cards have been applying for them since April of 201, and in that time 28,289 of the 28,670 applications have received approval. That is an approval percentage of nearly 99%. A large majority of those applying for medical marijuana cards, 24,316 of them to be exact, have requested the right to grow marijuana on their own property.

The Arizona Department of Health Services tracks the applicants by age brackets and the demographic with the most applicants is individuals between the ages of 18-30. Nearly 7,485 applicants are between the ages of 18-30. The second-largest demographic would be for the ages of 51-60, which had around 6,171 applicants, followed by 31-40 with 6,051 applicants and 41-50 with 5,263. There are also around 3,162 applicants who applied for medical marijuana cards between the ages of 61-70.

The Arizona Department of Health Services’ May 8th report on application statistic did not include any regional breakdowns. However, April’s report did include that information. As of last month in the Northwest Valley there were 122 applicants from Sun City, 27 from Sun City West, 422 applicants from Surprise, 604 in Peoria, and the most applicants in Glendale which produced 983 applicants.

The most popular reason for attempting to gain a medical marijuana card has been chronic pain, which appears on 89% of all applications received. The second most popular conditions given would be muscle spasms and nausea, which respectively appear on 14% and 11% of applications.

In regards to where Northwest Valley, Arizona applicants might expect to find a dispensary, Laura Oxley said that the Arizona Department of Health Services cannot yet discuss who is applying to open a dispensary or where they wish to locate their business. “All the information that comes into use under the American Medical Marijuana Association is confidential, including the applications and the locations,” said Oxley.

Oxley said, “Once the registration certificates are awarded, the successful applicants need to finish getting the business ready and have an onsite inspection. If they have everything ready, they can be open in weeks.” Registration certificates are expected to be awarded on August 7th.