Medical marijuana dispensaries wait on judge’s ruling: Judge will decide if unopened dispensaries get more time to open - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Medical marijuana dispensaries wait on judge’s ruling: Judge will decide if unopened dispensaries get more time to open

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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 12:42 pm | Updated: 4:02 pm, Fri Aug 9, 2013.

Several medical marijuana dispensaries are waiting to hear a judge’s ruling as to whether or not their certificate to operate will expire if the dispensary is not opened by Aug. 7.

State law outlined that if a dispensary owner could not get their dispensary opened within two years of being awarded a certificate to operate, they would lose their certificate. Several dispensaries are part of a lawsuit against the Department of Health Services, asking for more time.

The dispensaries, including the one attempting to open in Ahwatukee Foothills, Nature’s Healing Center, were given a temporary restraining order to file their application for authority to operate by Aug. 7 instead of June 7. Despite getting that ruling, Nature’s Healing Center was able to file its application on time. Now the plaintiffs in the case are hoping a judge will grant them more time to work through local jurisdictions to get their doors open.

The judge did indicate that he would give a ruling for all plaintiffs instead of picking and choosing which ones might get more time, said Steve White, an attorney who is representing one of the plaintiffs in the case.

Nature’s Healing Center is still waiting to go before the city Board of Adjustment on Aug. 8. A city zoning officer denied granting the dispensary the zoning variances they need to open their dispensary near a day care and a residential area at 4902 E. Warner Road. The owners are hoping the Board of Adjustment will overturn that decision.

The group was scheduled to go before the board in July, but asked the city for more time to fully investigate claims that their documents are not unaltered.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) is currently accepting applications to add debilitating conditions to the list of medical conditions that qualify patients for a medical marijuana card. Will Humble, director of DHS, recently posted on his blog that he has denied petitions to add Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, migraines and generalized anxiety disorder, because of the lack of published data regarding the risks and benefits of using medical marijuana to treat those conditions. 

Petitions and directions on how to fill it out can be found at www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/debilitating. Petitions will only be accepted through July 31 at the end of business.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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