May 14, 2012 8:37 PM

Steps to apply for marijuana dispensary

TUCSON - Starting May 14, the state is accepting applications to medical marijuana.

The city of Tucson already has 76 applications from those wanting to sell marijuana legally in the Old Pueblo, but space is limited and the process strict.

Just to apply costs five thousand dollars.

The city tells us they've already approved 32 applications to submit to the state and 16 are under review from applicants that have been waiting for the Arizona Department of Health Services to announce their window of opportunity.

The process has been slowed through lawsuits and rule making.

Those who want to open a dispensary in Tucson will have to go through several steps to get approved:

The first thing the applicant needs to do is get zoning clearance from the city.

Then, they need to submit an application to the state.

The state then decides whether that area can have a dispensary.

Once the applicant gets clearance from the state, the applicant then goes back to the city to get another zoning clearance based on the state's clearance.

"Mainly these locations will be in commercial areas. The issue is their distance from schools, churches and parks," said Jim Mazzocco, the city's planning administrator.

The city tells us only nine areas in Tucson will get that clearance.

"So just finding the property was very difficult and then you have to find landlords that will allow for this use," said Vicki Puchi-Saavedra, a medical marijuana dispensary applicant.

The next step in August, the state is expected to announce the 126 dispensaries that have been approved around Arizona including the nine in Tucson.

Click here to get more information on dispensaries:


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