Nov 20, 2012 8:07 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Proposed medical pot shop first to be inspected, approved in Tucson

TUCSON - A proposed medical marijuana dispensary was inspected and approved by state officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services Tuesday, according to the shop owners.

Inspectors traveled from Phoenix this morning to conduct a licensing inspection for the proposed dispensary located near Kolb and Broadway. They arrived at around 11 a.m. and thoroughly inspected the facility for several hours.

As state workers arrived at the east side dispensary, Tucson gets one step closer to opening its first medical pot shop.

This dispensary is the second shop inspected statewide but the first in Tucson.

John Gettel carries his medical marijuana card in his back pocket. He got it to help deal with the pain from a near-fatal car accident.

"Marijuana helps me with the residual pain from that...I have compressed discs in my back...I have pain that runs through my feet and my fingers," Gettel said.

Gettel is hopeful that as dispensaries get closer to opening, that will mean more access for folks like him.

"Dispensaries can be a place for patients to go and feel a part of a community and can often be the time to get out of the house and get out and do something when they're really struggling with a serious condition," Gettel told News 4 Tucson.

Will Humble, Director for AZDHS, said if the site was ready to go they could have their opening license by Thanksgiving. However, he admits that the inspections are designed to be thorough.

"There's a whole host of things we look for, we expect the inspections to take several hours every time we do one of these, but if they're ready to go, we'll know right away," Humble told News 4 Tucson.

That could put the gears in motion to license a dozen or so shops statewide by January 1.

That's something that John Gettel can appreciate.

"The biggest benefit is going to be a safe secure supply of medicine," Gettel said.

The owners of the dispensary say they have not yet established a date to officially open their doors.


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