Gerald Gaines Arizona Department of Health Services Will Humble 5.8 Million Processing Fees
Whose Money Is It, Arizona?
by GERALD GAINES CEO Compassion First Caregiver Circle Arizona
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act calls for the State to collect fees from various participants:
- $150 for an Arizona Medical Marijuana registry identification card for a qualifying patient.
- $200 for an Arizona Medical Marijuana registry identification card for a designated caregiver.
- $500 for an Arizona Medical Marijuana registry identification card for a dispensary agent.
- $5,000 for an initial Arizona Medical Marijuana dispensary registration certificate.
- $1,000 for a renewal Arizona Medical Marijuana dispensary registration certificate.
- $2,500 to change the location of an Arizona Medical Marijuana dispensary or cultivation facility.
Now that the dust is settling after the Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary application process, it looks like the State is sitting on $5.8 million after they have processed the applications.
Has The State publicly solicited ideas for the use of those funds? No.
Has The State responded to multiple queries from multiple parties about possible uses of the funds? No.
Has The State unilaterally decided to fund activities such as non-profit compliance? Yes.
Has the State done anything to directly represent the interests of patients? No. We have repeatedly asked the ADHS to create and fund the position of Patient Advocate at the State so there is a point of contact for patients to express their needs as key decisions are made about the program going forward. We have no dog in the hunt – we’re not suggesting who they should hire, just trying to make the point that a program without a Patient Advocate is bound to drift away from the real needs of the people who are supposed to be helped.
Has the State done anything to create a world-class level of research into the medical use of marijuana? No. There are researchers standing ready at state universities, who lack the funds and the state legal OK to proceed with applied research. The State sunk to the lowest form of Catch-22 by denying new conditions for inclusion in the Arizona Medical Marijuana program because of a lack of research while not funding research that would support such inclusion. How stupid does he think the people of Arizona are?
Has the State done anything other than take other people’s money and use it against them? Sadly, no – and I doubt he gets it. Patients, caregivers, prospective dispensary owners – we’ve all written checks to the state of Arizona. As we’ve said, he hasn’t supported a Patient Advocate or critical research. What have we gotten in return for our money:
Absolute silence and no protection from the infringements of Arizona Medical Marijuana patient rights conducted by the legislature with their questionably legal university restrictions on medical marijuana. In an ideal world, the ADHS would have been on the side of patients such as veterans with physical pain from injuries and PTSD-related psychological pain, and have opposed the measure and have tried to convince the Governor to withhold her support. Sadly, we got no such protection from The State.
Absolute silence and no protection from the infringements of Arizona Medical Marijuana patient rights conducted by the county attorney in his actions to define concentrates of marijuana as being outside the scope of the Arizona Medical Marijuana act. Mr. Montgomery has become a master at deciding when and when not to follow state or federal law, but in the end it’s all a transparent effort to undermine the will of the people as expressed in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
The state administration. The country admistration. The state legislature. All were very vocally against the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, and all are still against it. They hope, and probably pray, for a repeal or some other god given deliverance from the devil weed.
All we’re asking is they follow the rule of law they are so very fond of quoting as one of their core beliefs. They lost the election – its time to implement the will of the people.
source: Caregiver Circle CEO Blog AZ