Arizona health department preps for medical marijuana passage

by Angela Gonzales

There are less than two months before the Nov. 2 general election, when voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical use in Arizona. Will Humble is busy preparing for what seems to be the inevitable.

Polls show strong support for passage of Proposition 203, and the executive director of the Arizona Department of Health Services is putting processes into place to regulate what could become a new industry in the state.

An estimated 120 medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to set up shop in Arizona, based on a percentage of the approximately 1,200 pharmacies operating in the state.

If the law passes, Humble will have 120 days to implement it. He and his staff are setting up an online application process for businesses that want to become dispensaries and for patients seeking cards proving they are allowed to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Applications will be approved as early as April, he said.