(Watch) HB2050 Become A Striker

3-29-22 Senate Appropriations, HB2050- Marijuana Establishment; Licensee

A marijuana establishment licensee is authorized to request to the Department of Health Services to become a dual licensee and be authorized to sell medical marijuana. A nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificate issued under a dual license is not counted toward the total number of nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries authorized under any geographic requirements. A dual license cannot be split for license ownership sales or transfers. Due to voter protection, this legislation requires the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the members of each house of the Legislature for passage.
First sponsor: Sen. Gowan (R-Dist-14)
ARS Titles Affected: 36

Committee Senators
Lela Alston D-Dist-24
Sonny Borrelli R-Dist-5
Sean Bowie D-Dist-18
David Gowan, Chairman R-Dist-14
Sine Kerr R-Dist-13
Vince Leach, Vice-Chairman, R-Dist-11
David Livingston R-Dist-22
Lisa Otondo D-Dist-4
Raquel Terán D-Dist-30
Kelly Townsend R-Dist-16

 Vote: 9-1

Purpose

An emergency measure that requires the Department of Health Services (DHS) to determine whether there are any counties with no nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and to accept applications and issue dispensary registration certificates in those counties. Allows recreational marijuana licensees to apply for a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificate or a recreational marijuana establishment license. Contains requirements for enactment for initiatives and referendums (Proposition 105).

Background

In 2010, Arizona voters approved the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act to establish a regulatory system, overseen by DHS, that allows a dispensary to dispense a permissible amount of medical marijuana to a qualifying patient or the qualifying patient’s designated caregiver
(A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 28.1). In 2020, Arizona voters approved the Smart and Safe Arizona Act which legalized the sale and use of recreational marijuana to Arizonans who are at least 21 years of age (A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 28.2).

Licenses for both medical and recreational marijuana are issued by DHS and are valid for a period of two years. The total number of authorized recreational marijuana dispensaries in the state is limited to 1 for every 10 registered pharmacies. However, DHS may issue up to two recreational marijuana licenses in excess of this limit for each county without an established medical marijuana dispensary or one additional license in each county with only one medical marijuana dispensary. Additionally, medical marijuana dispensaries may seek dual licensure through DHS as a recreational and medical marijuana dispensary. These licensees must comply with the rules outlined for all marijuana establishments (A.R.S. § 36-2854).

Nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent and marijuana facility agent mean a principal officer, board member, employee or volunteer of a medical marijuana dispensary or a recreational marijuana establishment who is at least 21 years of age and has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense (A.R.S. §§ 36-2801; and 36-2850).

There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.

Provisions

  1. Allows a recreational marijuana licensee to apply for a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificate or a recreational marijuana establishment license.
  2. Requires DHS to approve each qualified applicant on submittal of a completed application and application fee.
  3. Requires, by June 1, 2022, DHS to determine:
    a) the number of recreational marijuana establishment licenses that are available to be issued; and b) whether there are any counties in the state with no medical marijuana dispensaries in operation.
  4. Requires, between July 1, 2022, and July 31, 2022, DHS to accept and process applications for new nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificates from applicants that meet both of the following requirements: a) DHS stipulated that the applicant delivered an application for a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificate between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2020; and b) the applicant sought a registration certificate for a facility located in a county with no medical marijuana dispensary or a location in which there is no medical marijuana dispensary within 25 miles.
  5. Specifies that a medical marijuana dispensary registration certificate issued to an applicant who applied on the grounds that the applicant previously applied for registration in a county or area with no medical dispensary: a) may only be issued to a marijuana facility agent or a nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary agent; and b) is considered issued to an early applicant who may apply for and be issued a recreational marijuana establishment license.
  6. Requires DHS to accept applications and issue medical marijuana registration certificates in any county without an operating medical marijuana dispensary during the period of November 1, 2022, through November 30, 2022.
  7. Exempts DHS from statutory rulemaking requirements for one year for purposes of implementing this legislation.
  8. Makes technical changes.
  9. Requires for enactment the affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the members of each house of the Legislature (Proposition 105).
  10. Becomes effective on signature of the Governor, if the emergency clause is enacted