VERDE VALLEY -- Friday marked the deadline for 10-day application period for people to seek approval to operate a medical marijuana dispensary. The State Health Department, which is the licensing authority under the voter-approved measure, sayid it will only issue permits for 126 dispensaries in each of the department's CHAA zones, or Community Health Analysis Area.
The health department will conduct all the screening and grant the operating certificates.
Locally, the only review is a planning department zoning clearance. Each local jurisdiction has determined in what zone the medical marijuana handling will be allowed.
Each one of the jurisdictions must provide a letter assuring that location selected by an applicant is within the proper zone.
So far, Cottonwood Planning Department has sent nine such letters verifying the zoning for dispensary applicant. Yavapai County has verified zoning for one applicant for a Cornville location and a second application for Rimrock. Camp Verde provided one verification letter, but that was last year. Clarkdale has not had any inquiries and sent no letters.
Sedona has had the most applications. Community Development Director, John O'Brien says they have sent out verification of zoning letters for 20 applications. Many of the individuals are eyeing the same properties, according to O'Brien. It is unknown whether Jerome received any applications.
It is assumed that one certificate will be issued for "Yavapai NE" CHAA and one for the "Sedona" CHAA, locally, as well as a single dispensary for each of the other 124 CHAAs.
Each CHAA, formed of census units, was intended to represent about 21,000 people.
ADHS Director Will Humble explains, the initial application round collected this month will be reviewed for "administrative completeness," to make sure that all required information is supplied. If it is not complete in this round, the application will be returned to the applicant to make corrections.
In June, another review will check for "substantive completeness," a more thorough, quality review. Once again, the applications will be returned if necessary for adequate information.
Finally, the State department will award a Marijuana Dispensary Registration Certificate on Aug. 7 for each CHAA.
If there's only one qualified applicant in a Community Health Analysis Area, that applicant will be awarded a Certificate. A random drawing on Aug. 7 will award Certificates in the CHAAs with more than one qualified applicant.