A couple of weeks ago I planned to open the docket to overhaul the Administrative Code (Rules) that we use to evaluate and monitor health and safety in licensed behavioral health facilities in AZ. That plan was based on the assumption that the Medical Marijuana Act was going down to defeat because at that time it was trailing by several thousand votes. The unexpected turnaround means we’ll need to devote substantial resources to the rule development and administrative infrastructure to implement the law.

We’ll only have 120 days (from the certification date of the election) to get the program up and running (including a substantial rulemaking), all of which means we’ll need to postpone the plan to rewrite the behavioral health licensing rules until early 2011. This is not something I want to do, because everyone agrees the behavioral health licensing rules need work, but we just can’t handle both jobs at once. Of course, if something strange happens and the election somehow turns direction during the canvass, we’ll proceed with the behavioral health rules. Otherwise, we’ll start the behavioral health licensing rule package as soon as we complete the 203 package- which will be late March.