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Phoenix Begins Preparing for Potential Marijuana Legalization

Phoenix Marijuana Dispensary

In preparation for potential recreational marijuana legalization in Arizona, the City of Phoenix is considering making changes to zoning regulations for possible new Phoenix dispensaries.

This comes following an earlier subcommittee meeting where Councilman Jim Waring expressed concerns for new medical marijuana dispensaries opening under current regulations but transitioning to recreational dispensaries later, according to The Arizona Republic. He said, “The quicker we get on it, the better.”

Some of the new regulations would include:

  • New medical marijuana dispensaries would not be permitted less than 1,320 feet from places of worship
  • No medical marijuana dispensaries within 500 feet of residential areas
  • 1,320 feet would be the minimal distance a medical marijuana dispensary could be from schools, public parks, day care centers, youth community centers and homeless shelters

Medical marijuana dispensary owners argue that there is already enough difficulty in finding a facility location. These new regulations would make it nearly impossible to find a location. Ryan Hurley of Rose Law Group said that the proposed changes would make finding a suitable location “next to impossible.”

Alan Stephenson, Director of Phoenix Planning and Development, says, “We need to be a little more cautious in how we treat these things.” This statement comes after expressed concerns by residents, law enforcement officials and lawmakers surrounding how recreational marijuana dispensaries would affect neighborhoods.

Further discussions on the zoning concerns regarding marijuana dispensary locations will take place as it gets closer to November.


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