Throughout my career I’ve learned that a cornerstone of working with the community is to make sure you have a true partnership.  Every partnership starts with trust.  In order to establish and maintain trust throughout our implementation period, the ADHS needs to ensure that our process is completely fair, open, honest and transparent. Part of establishing these pillars that result in trust means that we need to ensure  that everybody has equal access to information and making sure that everybody has an equal voice in the process.

Our top priority as we implement the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act over the coming months is to ensure that the processes we use to develop the regulations for the program are fair and transparent.  Moreover, I want to ensure that we have the opportunity to benefit from everybody’s ideas.

It’s my understanding that there are individuals in the community that are suggesting that they somehow have inside information into – or influence on – our processes and decision-making.  Some are even suggesting that they already have a dispensary or that they have one on “reserve”.  This is not the case.  Nobody outside the department is involved in the development of our informal draft rule that will be posted for public comment on December 17.  Nobody and no organization has any influence on our decision making, nor does anybody have any inside track to a license of any kind.  Period.

We are committed to ensuring that the process is completely transparent and that everybody in the State has an equal chance at input, which is why I’ve directed my rules team to write a completely internally driven first initial draft.  On December 17 we’ll invite (electronic) input to everybody at once from our hub 203 website.  We look forward to receiving input from all of Arizona’s residents once our draft is posted.

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