Next Tuesday, six potential medical marijuana collectives in the town of Gilbert, Arizona will find out if they have been selected to operate in the city. The lottery will determine which collectives will receive licenses to grow and sell marijuana. At most, two of the six hopefuls will be selected to open their shops in a city that is home is almost 900 approved medical marijuana patients.
The town of Gilbert is divided into western and eastern districts. Of the collectives that have applied, four are hoping to have their shops in the western half of the town, while two are hoping to be located in the eastern half.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, the eastern half of Gilbert has the highest concentration of medical marijuana patients in the state, making it an optimal location for anyone in the business.
In the town, collectives and marijuana growing sites will only be allowed in industrial districts. Medical marijuana businesses will be required to be at least 1,320 feet apart and 1,000 feet from schools, churches, and parks. Additionally, the collectives must not be located within 500 feet of residential areas.
According to Gilbert town code, collectives must be located in permanent buildings and may not sell any other types of merchandise. Delivery services are not allowed in the town.
The medical marijuana program in Arizona has been in place for over a year, but the state has struggled with legal concerns regarding collectives and the licensing of marijuana businesses. Even last week, thirteen state attorneys wrote to Governor Jan Brewer asking her to halt the medical marijuana program. The attorneys are concerned that the licensing process puts state officials at risk of federal prosecution.
Gilbert is located just southeast of Phoenix, in Maricopa County. The town’s lottery will be conducted by a C.P.A. using three machines to randomly select ping pong balls which are assigned to each applicant. To watch the lottery, a live stream will be available on Tuesday at azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana.