AZ Dept. Health Services

In November 2010, Arizona voters passed Proposition 203 – the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act – by 4,341 votes.  This called on the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to adopt a regulatory system for the distribution of marijuana for medical use, including a method for approving, renewing, and revoking the registration of qualifying patients, designated caregivers, nonprofit dispensaries, and dispensary agents. ADHS has subsequently issued registry identification cards to more than 53,000 individuals, over 97%of whom are qualifying patients.

In summer 2014, ADHS embarked on a rule-making and stakeholder consultation process, to review the administration and operation of the program.  As a result, a number of changes have been proposed to eradicate loopholes and increase efficiency.  Proposed amendments include, but are not limited to:

  • Reducing the membership card fees for specific categories of patients or caregivers
  • Amending dispensary registration certificate allocation procedures
  • Allocating dispensary locations according to the residential density of qualifying patients
  • Introducing new inventory control procedures
  • Clarifying requirements for transporting medical marijuana
  • Revising Community Health Assessment Area (CHAA) arrangements
  • Ensuring that the medical record information provided by patients is consistent with the Arizona Board of Pharmacy Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (ABPCSPMP) database.

Each rule amendment or change could have a potential impact on qualifying patients, designated caregivers, dispensaries, and other stakeholders in Arizona.

ADHS has therefore commissioned Seidman to produce an independent appraisal of economic impact, costs and benefits resulting from a series of proposed changes for three distinct types of stakeholder:

  • Qualifying patients
  • Designated caregivers
  • Operators of registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries.