ARIZONA: Scottsdale’s only medical-marijuana clinic has opened and is serving 15 to 20 patients a day there to purchase the drug to combat a variety of ailments.
Monarch Wellness, near Via de Ventura and Pima Road, offers a variety of marijuana strains as well as edibles.
Monarch was the only applicant for the South Scottsdale Community Health Area, a geographical designation used by the Arizona Department of Health Services to scatter medical-marijuana clinics across the state.
The health area covers the city south of Doubletree Ranch Road. Because of the zoning restrictions put in place by the City Council, few spots even qualified to host a clinic. Monarch occupies what owner Dustin Johnson says is the only place in the area to meet all the restrictions, based on distance from homes, schools and parks.
Dispensaries slowly have opened across the state in the third year since voters approved an initiative in November 2010. Phoenix’s first dispensary opened in April, and others are opening here and there, but a comprehensive, up-to-date list is not available. The Department of Health Services has not announced the identifications of licensed vendors.
Monarch opened quietly a couple weeks ago. Johnson said the only advertising the clinic is doing is on medical-marijuana websites.
Johnson said he is attracting 15 to 20 patients a day who are eligible for 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. Patients must get identification cards through the Department of Health Services and a recommendation from a doctor.
Opening the business was complex, Johnson said. Electronic data systems had to be perfected, security had to be established and personnel had to be hired and trained.