Program reports!  Let’s see how Arizona compares to New Mexico…

Arizona Department of Health Services, Third Annual Medical Marijuana Report, November 3, 2014

Click to access az-medical-marijuana-program-annual-report-2014.pdf

Program went into effect on April 14, 2011

The first dispensary opened on December 6, 2012.

During state fiscal year July 2013 to June 2014

52,374 qualifying patient and caregiver active cardholders, which included 51,783 qualifying patients and 591 caregivers. During this time period, 904 dispensary agent cards were issued.

Population: AZ – 6.6 million, NM – 2 million

Six hundred fifteen physicians provided certifications to 51,783 patients during this time period. Twenty-five physicians certified approximately 60% of the patients. Forty-five Approval to Operate certificates were issued to medical marijuana dispensaries, and of those approved, 38 dispensaries became operational. Additionally, 34 cultivation sites were approved. Thirty-seven dispensaries applied for and obtained ADHS authorization to sell or dispense medical marijuana-infused edible food products, and 11 dispensaries applied for and obtained authorization to prepare medical marijuana infused edible food products and supply edibles to dispensaries.

As of the date of this report, 100 dispensary registration certificates have been issued; 88 dispensaries have received an Approval to Operate, 83 of which are operational; and 51 cultivation sites have been approved.

PTSD will be added on January 1, 2015 and valid only for palliative care of PTSD symptoms (not treatment).

Beginning July 2013, ADHS developed and distributed a patient newsletter.

And a newsletter too!

Designated caregivers must also hold Registry Identification Cards for each QP who has designated them as a CG. In Arizona, CGs, who must be at least 21 years of age, are limited to serving no more than five QPs. The CG can cultivate, if authorized to do so by his or her QPs, up to 12 marijuana plants per patient if the patient lives more than 25 miles from an operating dispensary.

$150 for an initial or a renewal Registry Identification Card for a QP. QPs may be eligible to pay $75 for initial and renewal cards if they currently participate in SNAP. $200 for an initial or a renewal Registry Identification Card for a CG for each QP (up to five patients). $10 to amend, change, or replace a Registry Identification Card. 

Even with this outrageous expense, the program sure has a lot of members…

During the same period, ADHS conducted 19 complaint inspections of operational dispensaries,
cultivation sites, and infusion kitchens. Evidence of violations or noncompliance with the AMMA or Rules may result in the revocation of a dispensary’s registration certificate. There have been no revocations to date.

Since the passage of the law, in two instances (Laws 2011, Chapter 112 and Laws 2011, Chapter 336), modifications to AMMA were put in place to clarify ADHS’ authority to share doctor information with the various medical boards and required ADHS to allow employer access to the medical marijuana database to verify if employees were valid cardholders. Additionally, Laws 2011, Chapter 94 modified the controlled substances database to include medical marijuana to allow physicians to make more informed decisions about patient care.

Yikes!

Recommendation 2: Given the overwhelming recommendations for patients with “severe and chronic pain”, explore the feasibility of further examining the nature of debilitating conditions. For instance, the current incident rate for cancer in Arizona (5-year average) was 390 per 100,000 (CI: 387.8-392.1) with an average annual count of 25,432 cases. However, in the medical marijuana database, there were only 467 patients with Cancer as a unique debilitating condition.

Year Three Recommendations… Amending the definition of “25 miles” to by road rather than as the crow flies for qualifying patient applicants requesting to cultivate.

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