Voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010, but their dispensary system has faced a number of speed bumps along the way. Delays have come from lawsuits, time required for rule making, and concerns over federal actions against medical marijuana businesses in other states. All setbacks aside, the state is now beginning to accept applications for medical marijuana dispensaries. Applications will be accepted from today, May 14th, through Friday, May 25th. This gives hopeful collective owners only 10 working days to get their application in order and submitted.
The application process is not a simple one. Hopeful business owners have to full out a 4 page application and meet a long list of criteria. The criteria include plans for safety and security at the collective, a location within the proper zoning limits, an age requirement of 21 years, and no felonies on your criminal record.
In addition, collectives must also submit a business plan demonstrating that they understand how they will run their business as a non-profit, obtain a letter that shows they’re in compliance with zoning laws, and hire a licensed physician to be their medical director.
In addition to the hoops that potential collective owners must jump through, they are also required to pay a $5,000 application fee. Only $1,000 of that fee is refundable should your business not be selected to receive a license. Individuals who can demonstrate that they have over $150,000 funding in the bank will be given preference when applications are reviewed.
The state can accept a maximum of 126 collectives to receive business licenses, but it is not mandatory that they accept that many if there are not enough qualified applicants. As this is the first day that applications can be submitted, it is unclear how many hopeful marijuana-business owners are out there. However, it is expected that competition will be relatively high.