Arizona Senate Bill 1286, introduced by Senator David Gowan of Sierra Vista, hopes to provide medical marijuana patients with better access to dispensaries in rural areas of Arizona.
The legislation would require the Arizona Department of Health Services to prioritize dispensary applications to dispensaries in areas where they once located but have since closed, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows dispensaries to relocate after they’ve been in operation for at least 3 years. Several dispensaries have already relocated from rural areas to more populated areas to increase revenue. This has left certain patients in rural areas without convenient access to medical marijuana.
Senator Gowan said, “They all wanted to get into where the population is.”
The bill has already passed the House Committee of Regulatory Affairs in a unanimous vote. Next, SB 1286 will head to the full House for a vote.
Currently, there are no dispensaries in: Apache County, La Paz County, Santa Cruz County, Douglas, Eloy, Fredonia, Holbrook, Page.
Gowan said, “It gets these licenses out to where they need to go … and make sure that citizens outside of Maricopa can be represented again.”