Surprise adopts less-strict medical-marijuana zoning rules
Surprise City Council has approved a new set of zoning rules for places to grow or dispense medical marijuana.
The zoning changes are less restrictive than an earlier proposal that would have medical-marijuana facilities to industrial and heavy commercial areas. Now, facilities will be allowed in some intermediate commercial zones.
Dispensaries must be separated by 3,000 feet to prevent clustering, and 1,500 feet from schools, day cares and parks. A 500-foot separation requirement would apply around homes and churches. Council members voted, 7-0, to accept the new rules.
Arizona voters narrowly approved a ballot initiative in November, making it legal for certain patients with debilitating illnesses to get marijuana with a doctor's support. Cities are allowed to create zoning rules to control dispensaries, cultivation sites and infusion facilities, which blend marijuana into foods such as brownies, drinks or lollipops.
Council members said they favored allowing dispensaries in more areas so patients suffering from debilitating diseases would not be forced to travel to less-desirable, outlying areas.
Councilman Mike Woodard had spoken out against the first zoning proposal, saying it was "offensive to those who will receive needed medical assistance by the use of medical marijuana" to put the dispensaries on the fringes of the city. He said it would create a stigma.
Although the council was united in its support of the rules, Councilwoman Sharon Wolcott questioned the timing.
Wolcott initially said the council should wait to adopt the proposal until the state finishes revising its rules for patients, doctors and dispensaries. The state Department of Services is set to release its final rules in March.
Chris Boyd, assistant community and economic development director, urged the council to take action. He said waiting too long might allow a dispensary to set up in an undesirable area.
Under the state's rules, Surprise could have as many as four dispensaries, though city staff said the zoning requirements would allow for only three. Dispensaries locations must be approved by the state. The first sites could open by early summer.
Representatives from the medical-marijuana industry welcomed the less-stringent zoning limits.
Cameron Carter, an attorney for Today's , a Colorado-based dispensary looking to expand to Surprise, told the council that the city's original proposal would have made it unviable to open a dispensary in the city.
Carter said Surprise's first proposal allowed for dispensaries only in locations that are occupied, on government-owned land or vacant. Because the state requires dispensaries to open within a few months of getting a permit, developing a vacant lot would be unrealistic, he said.
School Won't Allow Student With Seizures to Take Marijuana Pill
San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Further Elevates Patient Clients with Rewards Program
San Francisco medicinal marijuana dispensary Lifted Health and Wellness is making it even easier to obtain their products and relief. The medicinal marijuana company that delivers its products to their patients on electric scooters within the hour has introduced a reward program that allows their patient clients to earn and spend points on merchandise, marijuana, edibles, and hash.
In an economy where every dollar counts, the Lifted Loyalty Rewards program is an attractive way to save money. Patient clients earn points for every dollar spent, and with these points, patients can buy everything from medicinal marijuana to T-shirts.
Patient clients earn points for every dollar spent, every re-tweet, every "like" on Facebook, every friend referral, and more. When a patient client returns a container, they receive 5 points. Liking Lifted on Facebook or following them on Twitter earns a patient client ten points. For participating in an online survey, a patient client gets 50 points. Reviewing a product or service gives patient clients 125 points. Finally, if a patient client either refers a friend or blogs about Lifted, they receive 250 points.
There are other ways to earn points as well, such as posting pictures or retweeting about Lifted. The points that patient clients accumulate allow them to buy a variety of medicinal marijuana products and Lifted merchandise. For example, a debowler is 100 points, an edible is 225 points, and a hoodie is 400 points. Get a free gram of hash for 600 points or an eighth ounce of marijuana for 1000 points.
Lifted Health and Wellness is a San Francisco mobile medicinal marijuana dispensary that prides itself on consistent compassion, quality, and efficiency in all of its services. They deliver affordable goods to client patients via environmentally friendly electric scooters.
New rules released on Medical Marijuana in AZ
GLOBE — On Jan. 31, 2011 the Arizona Department of Health Services released revised rules for the regulation of the approved medical marijuana bill that passed in the November general election last year.
The revised rules place a substantial amount of responsibility on the prescribing physician, who must “identify the debilitating medical conditions” had by the qualifying patient as well as provide a statement that the physician agrees to assume responsibility for providing management and routine care of the qualifying patient’s debilitating medical conditions.
The physician must also submit a statement that he/she has established a medical record for the qualifying patient and is maintaining these records throughout the treatment. The physician is also required to review all medical records for the qualifying patient from all other treating physicians within the previous 12 months, and review the qualifying patient’s response to conventional medications and medical therapies.
An in-person exam is required to diagnose the debilitating condition that would qualify for the use of medical marijuana.
These precautions are hoping to prevent a lax system that may lose oversight and control of who receives a medical marijuana registry ID card.
Arizona is now the fifteenth state in the U.S. plus Washington, D.C. that has legalized the use of medical marijuana. Cities and towns in the state of Arizona will begin placing bids to locate a medical marijuana dispensary in their city limits on May 1, 2011. Applications will be accepted for 30 days. Globe is among the cities vying for a dispensary to be located within the city limits. According to City Manager, Kane Graves, the city is looking to have the dispensary located in the vicinity of the Globe Police Department. High security measures will also be in place. The dispensary would be professionally run by Globe Farmacy. The exact location has not been decided at this time, but a public hearing to discuss the matter is set to take place today Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
According to the Department of Health and Safety rules, medical marijuana can be prescribed by a physician for the following conditions:
3. Human immunodeficiency virus;
4. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
5. Hepatitis C;
6. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
7. Crohn’s disease;
8. Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease;
9. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes cachexia or wasting syndrome;
10. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe and chronic pain;
11. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe nausea;
12. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes seizures, including those
characteristic of epilepsy;
13. A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or
debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe or persistent muscle spasms,
including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis; or
14. A debilitating medical condition or treatment approved by the Department under A.R.S.
36-2801.01 and R9-17-106.
A qualifying patient registry ID card would cost $160. The Department also reserves the right to revoke an ID card or deny a card to a qualifying patient on grounds established in the rules, including the lack of evidence of a debilitating condition, or if evidence of misuse of the substance is found. Patients are not allowed to give marijuana to other patients, and can be prosecuted if they do so.
The Department of Health and Safety has established Community Health Analysis Areas, based on the number of chronic ill patients, which will be used to determine the location of the dispensaries throughout the state. The public is invited to provide their comments to the Department at the website: http://azdhs.gov/prop203/.
Is marijuana the fix for Washington's budget problems?
You have probably heard most of the arguments for and against the legalization of marijuana. The pro folks say it costs too much money to prosecute the crimes, and pot is no more dangerous than alcohol. Opponents claim it's a gateway drug, and legalization would make it far more accessable to children.
Those and many other popular arguments have been sung for years. One Seattle lawmaker is changing the tune. State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson is making the debate about dollars and cents. With the state in such financial trouble, she believes that Washington needs to get into the drug dealing business to put the balance sheet in the black.
"The only people that are profiting from this prohibition are the drug cartels and the black market criminals who are involved," she told a State House committee on Tuesday. "Why shouldn't Washington reap the financial benefits of legalization?"
Representative Dickerson has introduced a bill that would legalize the drug, tax it and make it available at state-owned stores. It's the second time that she's made this pitch in Olympia. She told the committee the state could pocket $400 million every two years if marijuana was legal. Most of that money would go to fund health care in the state.
But opponents like State Representative Christopher Hurst worry the federal government will spoil the party, since marijuana possession and distribution would still be a federal crime. "Would we ever really keep any of that money and what would we do to our state employees who would be going to federal prison on a consistent basis?"
Dickerson admitted that any legalization effort would be bogged-down in the courts for years, but she told the committee Washington should be pushing the issue. "Some state has to take the lead," she said. "I say to you that Washington State can lead, and because we take the lead we will reap the benefits."
Here's how Dickerson's bill would work. Marijuana would be legal for people older than 21. The state would impose a 15 percent tax on each gram sold. People could grow their own in small gardens that aren't visible to the public, and the state couldn't advertise. The bill would also allow for hemp production which Dickerson believes could be an economic boon to Washington.
Medical Marijuana patient sues Royal Oak
Another resident is suing the city because of its new zoning ordinance that allows patients to use but not grow medical marijuana.
Christopher Frizzo, 47, a qualifying patient who has multiple sclerosis, filed a lawsuit Monday in Oakland County Circuit Court. He isn’t seeking monetary damages.
“He wants Royal Oak to repeal its ordinance that limits medical marijuana from being grown or cultivated and if they won’t do it he wants the judge to declare the Royal Oak ordinance unenforceable and void,” said Neil Rockind, one of Frizzo’s attorneys.
Rockind, who is representing Frizzo pro bono, served the city with the lawsuit in person. He was following up on a threat to sue made during public comment of the Jan. 24 City Commission meeting.
“I think the way some politicians and localities are approaching medical marijuana is hurting patients when it’s their job to protect people like Christopher Frizzo,” Rockind said. ”I marched down to City Hall with the lawsuit in my hand and told the city clerk you’ll be getting to know me.”
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed by state voters in November 2008 allows qualifying patients to grow to up to 12 medical marijuana plants or have a caregiver do it for them if both are registered with the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Frizzo’s lawsuit says he has no caregiver and grows his own medicine because he has limited mobility and financial means.
In a phone interview, Frizzo said medical marijuana reduces the severity of his muscle spasms and nausea while increasing his appetite.
“In minutes, the nausea and sick feeling goes away. It likes a miracle,” Frizzo said.
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