On December 17, 2020, the Arizona Division of Well being Providers (“Division”) held an open assembly to take feedback on the proposed state hashish rules. On this publish, we share a few of the feedback made by the individuals and a few of the solutions offered by the Division. The Division said that the aim of the assembly was to not take questions (though, in some circumstances, they did reply questions), however fairly to simply permit events to offer feedback on the proposed rules.

Early Candidates in Counties with Fewer than 2 Medical Dispensaries

There was a sturdy dialogue relating to early candidates for counties which have lower than two medical marijuana (“MMJ”) dispensaries. In accordance with the Division, there are presently eight counties in Arizona which have fewer than 2 MMJ dispensaries – the Division will present a listing of these counties earlier than the early applicant interval begins (which is about for January 19, 2021). Thus, there must be alternatives to acquire an adult-use license in these counties.

A number of commentators recommended that given the excessive software charge, that candidates must be scored and rated. Beneath the regulation, the Division will settle for purposes till March 9, 2021 for early candidates. Any entity that submits a whole and compliant software, together with the appliance charge, by March 9, 2021, will likely 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 Division mentioned the appliance charge (which is presently set at $25,000) is non-refundable. Click on HERE for extra info relating to purposes and licensing charges. If an entity submits a whole and compliant software however just isn’t chosen by the Division to be a licensee, then for future drawings or open applicant durations, that entity might want to submit a brand new software.

The Division may even launch an digital type 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 Division said it will solely rely medical marijuana dispensaries (and never cultivation or different associated licensees).

Social Fairness Alternative Program 

Whereas a number of commenters requested in regards to the new Social Fairness Alternative Program (“SEOP”), the Division has not launched these guidelines but and it doesn’t seem to be a precedence within the close to time period because the Division is pushing to prepare for the early candidates. One commenter recommended that SEOP licensees must be for just for native (Arizona) residents, minorities, and others which were disenfranchised by prior marijuana legal guidelines. The Division will take that remark (and all different feedback) into consideration because it updates the proposed rules.

Residency Requirement for Homeowners

Different commenters requested that the Division make Arizona residency a requirement for all house owners. Nonetheless, I identified that as a result of the statutes permit public firms to be licensees, the Arizona residency requirement can be untenable (I truly incorrectly mentioned the “proposed rules” as an alternative of the statutes). How might the Division implement such a regulation for the open markets? It might be fully antithetical to the idea of publicly traded firms and the way they function. Amongst different points, each commerce to an out-of-state proprietor would someway need to be stopped prematurely. I don’t imagine that may be operationalized by the general public markets or the businesses which might be traded on the markets.

Miscellaneous Dialogue

One commenter requested if the principles had been modeled on different state guidelines. The Division mentioned that the principles are supposed to adjust to Proposition 207, which is now the regulation in Arizona. The principles will likely be finalized by someday in mid-January 2021. Furthermore, in accordance with the Division, the Arizona legislature will likewise have an opportunity to assessment and touch upon the proposed guidelines.

The Division said that each one purposes will likely be in digital format however that they won’t launch the brand new purposes now as a result of the rules are usually not last but. However the Division promised to launch the brand new purposes as quickly as potential (and clearly previous to January 19, 2021). The Division additional famous that future guidelines may have extra info on dispensary operations and administrative necessities. One commenter requested if the Division would maintain obligatory trainings for house owners and workers, like different states require. Additionally, two commenters requested that the Division 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 embrace the total standards for the cap). I requested the Division 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 Division mentioned that anybody who desires to know can name the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy.

Concluding Remarks and Subsequent Steps

The Division’s assembly was very informative, and any feedback made as we speak or on-line (if well timed made) will likely be thought-about by the Division as they proceed to replace the proposed rules. Anybody keen on procuring an adult-use license can be smart to assessment the proposed rules, any up to date proposed rules, and every other info offered by the Division. Likewise, you probably have feedback in regards to the proposed rules or the brand new proposed rules that will likely be launched sooner or later, you need to take the time to submit such feedback to the Division.

The Division will maintain one other public remark interval in early January 2021, just like the one held on December 17, 2020. Additionally, the Division will launch a brand new draft of the proposed rules within the very close to time period. It was apparent that the Division is listening carefully to feedback made and obtained by events. How these feedback affect the subsequent set of proposed rules is but to be seen.