The Arizona Department of Health Services is seeking public comments on new medical marijuana rules for the state that agree with a superior court’s ruling.

Superior Court Judge Randall H. Warner last summer decided the state’s rules were unreasonable because they did not include a process for dispensary certificate holders to renew their certificate if they didn’t earn approval to operate within one year.

A group attempting to open a dispensary in Ahwatukee Foothills was one of the plaintiffs in the case. Nature’s Healing Center holds a registration certificate for the Ahwatukee Foothills Community Health Analysis Area (CHAA), but failed to get its approval to operate within one year.

The state is proposing several modifications to the current rules including adding a process by which registration certificate holders who don’t earn their approval to operate within one year of being awarded their certificate may renew their dispensary registration.

Other rule modifications include:

• Allowing additional permit holders to grow their own medical marijuana.

• Allowing an individual who was a principal or board member of a dispensary that failed to get approval to operate within one year to become a principal or board member of a new dispensary.

• Revising the method of selecting future dispensaries to remove the allocation on the basis of locations with the highest number of qualifying patient residents.

• Clarifying what is required of a dispensary to be considered open, operating and available to dispense.

• Clarifying the policies and procedures for inventory control and transportation of marijuana.

• Limiting dispensary donations by patients and caregivers to 2.5 ounces every two weeks.

• Adding seniors, veterans and those who receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to the list of patients who qualify for discounted registration cards.

All of these proposed modifications are up for public comment. If adopted, Health Services Director Will Humble said the changes could take effect in early 2015.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or Staff reporter Allison Hurtado contributed to this report.

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