On December 17, 2020, the Arizona Department of Health Services (“Department”) held an open assembly to take feedback on the proposed state hashish laws. In this publish, we share a number of the feedback made by the members and a number of the solutions offered by the Department. The Department said that the aim of the assembly was to not take questions (though, in some circumstances, they did reply questions), however slightly to simply enable events to supply feedback on the proposed laws.
Early Applicants in Counties with Fewer than 2 Medical Dispensaries
There was a strong dialogue relating to early candidates for counties which have lower than two medical marijuana (“MMJ”) dispensaries. According to the Department, there are at the moment eight counties in Arizona which have fewer than 2 MMJ dispensaries – the Department will present a listing of these counties earlier than the early applicant interval begins (which is about for January 19, 2021). Thus, there ought to be alternatives to obtain an adult-use license in these counties.
Several commentators advised that given the excessive software payment, that candidates ought to be scored and rated. Under the regulation, the Department will settle for functions till March 9, 2021 for early candidates. Any entity that submits a whole and compliant software, together with the applying payment, by March 9, 2021, will probably be entitled to enter a random choice course of for these counties with fewer than 2 MMJ dispensaries (assuming there are extra candidates than allotted licenses).
Of explicit significance, the Department mentioned the applying payment (which is at the moment set at $25,000) is non-refundable. Click HERE for extra info relating to functions and licensing charges. If an entity submits a whole and compliant software however just isn’t chosen by the Department to be a licensee, then for future drawings or open applicant intervals, that entity might want to submit a brand new software.
The Department can even launch an digital kind that localities can full for zoning approval acknowledgment. When counting the variety of institutions in a county, for functions of the early applicant interval, the Department said it will solely rely medical marijuana dispensaries (and never cultivation or different associated licensees).
Social Equity Opportunity Program
While a number of commenters requested concerning the new Social Equity Opportunity Program (“SEOP”), the Department has not launched these guidelines but and it doesn’t appear to be a precedence within the close to time period because the Department is pushing to prepare for the early candidates. One commenter advised that SEOP licensees ought to be for just for native (Arizona) residents, minorities, and others which have been disenfranchised by prior marijuana legal guidelines. The Department will take that remark (and all different feedback) into consideration because it updates the proposed laws.
Residency Requirement for Owners
Other commenters requested that the Department make Arizona residency a requirement for all house owners. However, I identified that as a result of the statutes enable public firms to be licensees, the Arizona residency requirement could be untenable (I truly incorrectly mentioned the “proposed regulations” as an alternative of the statutes). How might the Department implement such a regulation for the open markets? It could be utterly antithetical to the idea of publicly traded firms and the way they function. Among different points, each commerce to an out-of-state proprietor would someway should be stopped prematurely. I don’t consider that may be operationalized by the general public markets or the businesses which are traded on the markets.
One commenter requested if the foundations have been modeled on different state guidelines. The Department mentioned that the foundations are meant to adjust to Proposition 207, which is now the regulation in Arizona. The guidelines will probably be finalized by someday in mid-January 2021. Moreover, based on the Department, the Arizona legislature will likewise have an opportunity to overview and remark on the proposed guidelines.
The Department said that each one functions will probably be in digital format however that they won’t launch the brand new functions now as a result of the laws will not be last but. But the Department promised to launch the brand new functions as quickly as attainable (and clearly previous to January 19, 2021). The Department additional famous that future guidelines may have extra info on dispensary operations and administrative necessities. One commenter requested if the Department would maintain obligatory trainings for house owners and staff, like different states require. Also, two commenters requested that the Department have higher coordination with cities and cities.
As we beforehand reported (HERE) there are caps in place for the general variety of adult-use dispensaries in Arizona, which is one dispensary for each 10 registered pharmacies in Arizona (HERE to see the statutes that embody the complete standards for the cap). I requested the Department if it had this info, and in that case, whether or not they would share it with the general public. I’ve looked for this info however have solely discovered one report from 2013 that discusses the general variety of pharmacies in Arizona. The Department mentioned that anybody who desires to know can name the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.
Concluding Remarks and Next Steps
The Department’s assembly was very informative, and any feedback made at this time or on-line (if well timed made) will probably be thought-about by the Department as they proceed to replace the proposed laws. Anyone excited by procuring an adult-use license could be smart to overview the proposed laws, any up to date proposed laws, and every other info offered by the Department. Likewise, in case you have feedback concerning the proposed laws or the brand new proposed laws that will probably be launched sooner or later, you must take the time to submit such feedback to the Department.
The Department will maintain one other public remark interval in early January 2021, just like the one held on December 17, 2020. Also, the Department will launch a brand new draft of the proposed laws within the very close to time period. It was apparent that the Department is listening intently to feedback made and obtained by events. How these feedback affect the following set of proposed laws is but to be seen.