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Big Canadian Companies Are Buying Up Arizona Dispensaries

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Earlier this year, Canadian Bioceutical Corporation paid roughly $30 million to acquire management firms providing services to two Mesa, Arizona dispensaries. The corporation says that Arizona’s medical marijuana industry is very profitable, although Arizona’s medical marijuana industry is structured to be non-profit.

Two other Canadian companies, General Cannabis Corporation and Aphria, have also invested in Arizona’s medical marijuana industry in recent months, according to East Valley Tribune.  The management companies. They are providing financial and real-estate management services and are also helping businesses find skilled employees.

Canadian Bioceutical aided one of the Mesa dispensaries with its relocating. Along with the new location is also a newly designed interior. After moving, a new sales record for a single week was set.

Canadian Bioceutical says that after the last transaction it “will bring the total number of Arizona dispensaries under the Health for Life umbrella – current and under development – to four in a state with less than 100 dispensaries in total.”

The corporation doesn’t only have business interests in Arizona. It is also involved in Massachusetts and Maryland dispensaries.

New Frontier Data estimates that Arizona’s medical marijuana industry will grow to $681 million by 2020.

The Arizona Department of Health Services does not regulate management companies.

DHS employee Ben Palmer said, “I confirmed with the program that ADHS only oversees the dispensary and dispensary agents. Outside firms are not under our purview unless they are dispensary agents.”

These types of arrangements are allowed under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. They just cannot break the parameters of non-profit regulations. Conflict of interest must be exposed to all members of the board.

Not everyone thinks that this is what voters approved in 2010 though. Daniel Orenstein of the USCF Center for Tobacco Control, Research and Education said, “I think it is unambiguous in the law that voters passed that the dispensaries are supposed to be non-profit entities. Because (the legislation) talks about non-profits in the law, it can be assumed that it was not meant to create this peculiar (management company) setup.”

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