Since being made legal in Arizona in 2010 the state’s medical marijuana program has grown leaps and bounds. All around Arizona there are marijuana dispensaries popping up, from the big cityscape of Phoenix metro, to the smaller towns like Wickenburg and Payson. Wherever you have people with medical marijuana cards, you will find a dispensary to serve their needs, if not today in the near future. While it is legal to own and operate these pot shops, there are many regulations they have to comply with, not only how they operate and who they sell to, but where they can be located to begin with.
Zoning Restrictions Affect Marijuana Dispensary Locations
There is a heated legal battle happening right now regarding a new dispensary trying to open up near ASU in Tempe. Healing Healthcare Inc. had plans to operate their shop across the street from the Karsten Golf Course, on McClintock Drive south of Rio Salado Parkway. The City of Tempe denied the business location citing the rule that a dispensary cannot be located within 500 feet of a residential property. The Karsten Golf Course property, now closed, is zoned agriculture but is within a residential zoning category. The owners of Healing Healthcare Inc are arguing that in ASU’s long term plans for the property, it will become a parking lot not homes.
Understanding the Medical Marijuana Act
The Arizona medical marijuana program is regulated by the State of Arizona, the entity that established the rules and provides oversight to the dispensaries and card holders. In order to get the proposition to pass, there were obviously rules put in place to avoid abuse of the program as much as possible. This location is not only very close to what potentially could be turned into residential properties but is also a short distance from the ASU campus, which I am sure concerns some people as well.
Have a Tempe Attorney Answer Your Marijuana Questions
The many regulations that go along with opening and running a marijuana dispensary in Tempe can be overwhelming to a business owner. The state is certainly taking its job seriously by regulating them stringently. Several shops have even made the news for being totally unlicensed. Without the proper licensing, charges can quickly escalate to a slew of offenses including possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, drug paraphernalia, etc. If you are facing any kind of marijuana charge whether it is on the large scale of a dispensary or the small scale of recreational use, it is important to contact an experienced and knowledgeable marijuana attorney. Call our office today to discuss your case for free and see why so many of our clients have been happy with the results of their criminal case.