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Nevada Legislators Visit Arizona Marijuana Dispensaries

On March 22,  six state legislators from Nevada traveled to Arizona to take a tour of a medical marijuana dispensary in Phoenix.

Why?

Nevada, similar to Arizona, allows for the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes however, Nevada’s legislators and a district court judge do not believe that the state has provided a convenient and lawful way for residents to obtain medical marijuana.

As such, the Nevada Legislators, who view Arizona’s medical marijuana dispensary’s safety and security controls as a solution to their problem, came to Arizona to tour a marijuana grow house, and the medical marijuana dispensary, Arizona Organix. Nevada legislators also spent time with Arizona’s legislators discussing ways to develop the means for Nevada residents to safely obtain medical marijuana.  Las Vegas Senator Mark Hutchinson said, “We just need to figure out a way to dispense this safely.”

At Arizona Organix, the legislators observed the collection of green cannabis buds with names such as Platinum Dream, Purple Kush, Gucci and Blue Elephant.  The legislators also inspected products such as marijuana-laced lollipops, brownies, snicker doodles and sugar cookies.

The Legislators, guided by the dispensary owner, Bill Myer, learned the process undertaken when a patient comes to the dispensary.  According to Mr. Myer, license dispensary employees first verify, through a secure government database, whether the patient has a legitimate medical marijuana card.  Upon verification, a “budtender” accompanies the patient into a secure room to view the product.  After selecting the product, which can cost from $370 to $390 per ounce, the patient pays the employee, and the employee logs the amount of product purchased.  The log prevents a patient from purchasing more than the limit of 2.5 ounces every two weeks.

According to Mr. Myer, the dispensary, which opened December 6th, sees approximately 100 patients per day.  Mr. Myer also said that although the dispensary is a not for profit business, he is still required to pay “well over six figures annually” for state and local sales tax.

Las Vegas Senator Tick Segerblom, whose bill, Senate Bill 374, which would provide for the development and regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada, said the Arizona dispensary was “incredibly clean . . . very efficient” and “very tight as far as the controls.”

While federal law bans the use of marijuana even for medical purposes, Arizona dispensary owners remain unconcerned about their operations. Mr. Myer said. “The state of Arizona gave us the authorization to operate. The federal government has not. We understand that. We feel personally, at Arizona Organix that we have a degree of insulation when they come looking for bad actors.” Mr. Myer also flaunted the dispensaries security systems, product safety and its insistence on abiding by state and local laws.

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