Arizona has one of the nation's strictest set of requirements governing the sale of medical marijuana, says the New York Times. In California, where rules governing the business are particularly lax, medical marijuana ventures have been targets of raids. In Arizona, it is a costly and cumbersome enterprise. Dispensaries must abide by zoning regulations that change from one municipality to the next. Applicants must offer detailed plans on how to secure, store, and track the marijuana they hope to sell.
They must to offer educational materials, which is standard practice, and hire a medical director to supervise the operation, the only requirement of its kind in the country. “A physician can get involved in how it's being used as medicine on a day-to-day basis, and that's the big kicker here. If you're going to use cannabis as medicine, you've got to be able to understand the science and also apply the science,” said Michael Backes, director of research and development for Abatin, a consultant to three dispensaries in California that have applied to open two more in Arizona. There is a limit to the number of dispensary licenses the state will give out in this first phase: 126, one for each of the geographic regions carved out by health officials.