We’re finished making our policy decisions regarding the final medical marijuana rules, and our rules team will be spending Friday and probably part of the weekend crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on the final medical marijuana rules.  We’ll be releasing them on our website first-thing on Monday morning.  We’ll also be having a media conference at some point later that day.  We’ve developed a long set of Frequently Asked Questions to help prospective qualified patients, caregivers, dispensary applicants and physicians understand the final set of rules.  While the final rules will be posted on Monday, the actual law takes effect at the start of the business day on April 14.  We expect to be ready to go on the 14th.

We believe the final rule package accomplishes most of our objectives which include:

  1. ensuring convenient access for folks with debilitating medical conditions identified in the Initiative;
  2. ensuring access to the medication in rural Arizona;
  3. clear expectations regarding criteria for medical marijuana certifications;
  4. a way to ensure physicians write certifications for medical use;
  5. a fair, effective, and orderly way to award dispensary licenses this year and in future years;
  6. clear medical, administrative, inventory, and security expectations for dispensary operation;
  7. reasonable compliance and enforcement provisions;
  8. a clear method for adding debilitating medical conditions over time;
  9. efficient administrative oversight designed to minimize cost; and
  10. reasonable fees that will cover the costs of implementing the program.

Over the last few months we have carefully examined medical marijuana programs in other states, reviewed more than 3,000 comments from the public on our 2 draft rule packages, and used the full range of expertise and creativity among our staff to develop what we believe is a responsible set of regulations that will ensure the near-term and future success of the program.  Thanks for all the hard everybody!