Sun City Marijuana Dispensary Now Open

ARIZONA:  Retirees carrying medical marijuana cards in Sun City won’t have far to travel to get their latest stash, reports The Daily News-Sun.

After receiving approval from the Arizona Department of Health Services, medical pot dispensary White Mountain Health Center Inc. is open at 9420 W. Bell Road in the West Valley retirement community.

The dispensary received ADHS approval following an on-site visit three days before Christmas. A dividing wall still must be added to the lobby between the consultation areas before nonpatients will be allowed in.

Annual Report Shows Increase In Medical Marijuana Use In State Dec

ARIZONA:  The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) has been in effect for four years, and the annual report by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) shows that more and more people are taking part in the program.

The first annual report presented in 2012 revealed that there were 35,641 active cardholders in the state. This year that number has increased by almost 17,000, with the state currently showing a total of 52,374 cardholders, which includes 51,783 qualifying patients and 591 caregivers. In addition, this year there were 904 dispensary agent cards issued.

The number of minors being prescribed marijuana has also increased. There are currently 92 minors (between the ages of eight months and 18) with medical marijuana cards, up from 18 who requested and qualified for one when the law first went into effect. Last year that number stood at 37.

Of the total qualifying patients, about one-third are female, more than a 10 percent increase over the first year.


Novus Reaches Milestone In Providing Affordable Medicinal Marijuana Treatment To Arizona Patients Statewide

ARIZONA:  Novus Acquisition & Development Corp (OTC PINK: NDEV), wholly owned subsidiary Novus Medical Group, Inc., a service provider of the health and wellness savings plan, “Novus MedPlan,” is proud to announce that we have completed our strategic network provider outreach in Arizona. With the awareness that PR Revolution (, a public relations and marketing agency who specializes in the cannabis sector, delivered for Novus at the National Marijuana Business Conference last month, Novus was able to exceed expectations for provider enrollment, connect with new providers and execute agreements with more-than-willing dispensaries and wellness clinics. As a result, Novus MedPlan is now ready to assist patients in more states than ever before.

“We have completed our strategic network provider outreach and geographically aligned ourselves throughout the state of Arizona to ensure all of our members have access to Medical Marijuana Clinics and wellness providers within their region, regardless of where in the state they reside,” said Andrea Lopez, Novus President and CEO. “The Novus team is energized about exceeding provider enrollment in Arizona and is continuing its expansion of our Provider Network in Colorado. We plan to continue to build our provider network to strengthen our footprint throughout the country.”

The Novus MedPlan Program is a revolutionary approach to reducing healthcare costs within the MMJ and wellness industry. Individuals and their families can save money on the cost of healthcare-related products and services that are not covered by standard healthcare programs. Patients’ cost-saving plan will be 20% to 50% off for members of Novus MedPlan, which include: doctors’ consultations, alternative medication and medical marijuana in approved states; all for a low fee of $19.95 per month.

Medical-Marijuana Patients Still At Risk For DUI Conviction, Appeals Court Confirms

ARIZONA:  Medical-marijuana patients are still at risk for a DUI conviction simply for having trace amounts of THC in their bloodstreams, the state Court of Appeals confirmed on Tuesday.

In a 3-0 ruling with disclaimers by one judge, the court upheld the conviction of a Mesa man despite an apparent exception for such prosecutions in the voter-approved, 2010 medical-pot law.

Arizona, if you haven’t heard, has a zero-tolerance law against drivers with marijuana metabolites in their veins, medical card or not. Our May 2013 feature article, “Riding High,” covered how it was possible for patients or illegal cannabis users to be convicted for DUI even when impairment wasn’t a factor, and even when the only metabolite found was carboxy-THC, a molecule known to be inactive.

In April, the state Supreme Court ruled that drivers could not be convicted solely because of the presence of carboxy-THC. But the ruling left patients and illicit users at risk of getting a DUI even when they weren’t impaired.

Arizona Lawmaker Plans Bill To Legalize Marijuana

ARIZONA:  An Arizona lawmaker plans to introduce a proposal next year to legalize recreational marijuana before a similar proposal could get decided by voters in 2016.

Republican Rep. Ethan Orr of Tucson aims to convince fellow conservatives that a voter-approved measure is nearly impossible to change once it is approved and not the way to set up a complex system of rules and taxes for the drug, The Arizona Capitol Times reported Monday.

The only way to change voter-approved measures in Arizona is through a two-thirds vote of each the state House and Senate, and the revisions must align with the intent of the measure.

“I would rather us as elected leaders be the ones directing the conversation and the debate, and ultimately controlling the policy, as opposed to letting it go to a citizens’ initiative where you can’t change the law once it’s in place,” he said.


Arizona Marijuana-Legalization Campaign For 2016 Ballot Measure Becomes Official

ARIZONA:  Proponents of a 2016 citizens’ initiative in Arizona that aims to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older filed paperwork with the state on Thursday, the first step in their campaign.

The Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona initiative still has a long way to go before becoming a law. But if it’s successful, it would reverse about 80 years of marijuana prohibition in Arizona, raise millions in tax revenue and potentially end black-market sales of the plant.

The downsides: We’ll let you know if we think of any.

“The goal is obviously the legalization of adult use of marijuana in Arizona,” says Andrew Myers, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project who helped lead the state’s successful 2010 initiative legalizing medical marijuana. “Specifics are still up in the air.”

Where There’s Smoke: Medical Marijuana Brings Entrepreneurial Boom To Phoenix

ARIZONA:  Dustin Johnson isn’t your average drug dealer.

Despite a rigorous religious upbringing and an early career in real estate, he found his true calling as president of Monarch Wellness Center, Scottsdale’s only medical marijuana dispensary.

Johnson grew up in Scottsdale, attended Scottsdale Christian Academy and received a degree from the Church of Christ-affiliated Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He grew into the marijuana business to help people like his mother, who spent 10 years relying increasingly on narcotic pain medication for nerve damage before switching to pot after voters passed the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

“She was driving to South Phoenix to some of these collective operations that weren’t legitimate, and I realized there was a need for people like her for a facility in her neighborhood,” Johnson said.

He is part of a growing class of budding entrepreneurs who hold the 98 dispensary registration certificates currently in the state. For Johnson and his peers, navigating the path between criminal and caregiver is challenging, despite the ultimate reward he sees in easing people’s suffering.



El Mirage Resident Sues Over Right To Grow Medical Marijuana

ARIZONA:  State health officials are facing a new legal challenge over a provision in the voter-approved Medical Marijuana Act that bars those who live within 25 miles of a dispensary from growing their own plants.

The lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court contends giving some the right to grow but not to others is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Billy B. Hayes, who is not at attorney but filed the legal papers on behalf of himself and others, also contends the system gives dispensary operators a monopoly in violation of state constitutional provisions.

Hayes, a resident of El Mirage, wants Judge Arthur Anderson to rule that all of the more than 50,000 medical marijuana patients in Arizona are eligible to grow their own plants without fear of prosecution. And recognizing the case could take months, if not longer, Hayes is asking Anderson to block state health officials from enforcing the no-grow provisions while the lawsuit is proceeding.

The 2010 voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows those with specified medical conditions and a doctor’s recommendation to obtain up to 2 1/2 ounces of the drug every two weeks. And the law required the state to set up a system of privately run but state regulated dispensaries to sell the drug.


Court Rules Arizonans On Probation Can Use Medicinal Marijuana If Eligible

ARIZONA:  State judges cannot bar those placed on probation from using medical marijuana if they are otherwise eligible, the state Court of Appeals ruled Friday. And that even includes those who were convicted for drug offenses.

Appellate judge Peter Eckerstrom said when voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act in 2010 they declared that those with a doctor’s recommendation and the required state-issued ID card are not subject to “arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner, or denial of any right or privilege.” That “clear language,” Eckerstrom said, prohibits a trial judge from barring someone from using medical marijuana consistent with that law.

Eckerstrom did not dispute there are probably public policy concerns about letting someone with a long history of substance abuse, as in this case, continue to use marijuana for whatever reason. But the judge said these public policy debates are for the Legislature and, by extension, for the people through their constitutional power to make their own laws.

The ruling, which sets new precedent in Arizona, involves Keenan Reed-Kaliher, who was charged with possession of marijuana for sale and attempted possession of a narcotic drug for sale.


Judge: Medical-Marijuana Patients Can Sell Pot To Other Patients Because Law Is Vague

ARIZONA:  Arizona’s medical-marijuana law is so vague, the state can’t prosecute patients who sell pot to other patients, a Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled.

The offbeat, July 2 ruling and dismissal of a criminal case by Judge Richard Fields has the potential to open up all sorts of entrepreneurial opportunities for Arizonans to sell marijuana legally — if it survives an appeal.

The case began with the October 8, 2013, indictment of Jeremy Allen Matlock on three felony counts in connection with the sale and growing of marijuana. Matlock’s public defender, Sarah Bullard, filed a motion to dismiss the case based on the premise that Matlock was immune from prosecution.

Bullard argued that Matlock, a registered cardholder who was approved for cultivation at the time of his indictment, never violated the voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act because the law allows patients to sell marijuana to other patients.

Although voters in 2010 approved a system of regulated dispensaries to sell marijuana, part of the Act’s text that is now enshrined in Arizona Revised Statute 36-2811 states that “a registered qualifying patient or registered designated caregiver is not subject to arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner” for various marijuana-related offenses.