The first medical marijuana related superstore opened in Arizona this week amid lawsuits over whether the state’s medical marijuana program should be allowed to continue.
A California-based hydroponics supply company, weGrow, opened a center in Phoenix on June 1. Dhar Mann, the company’s founder, told Reuters that he runs a reputable company that offers a variety of marijuana-related products.
“We sell everything but the plant itself,” said Mann. “We sell the products and the services for people to safely and responsibly cultivate their medicine.”
Despite this, Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne filed a lawsuit on May 24 asking clarification on the issue after U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke warned that the law was at odds with federal law regardless of state law.
“I just cannot sit on the sidelines and allow the federal government to put my state employees at risk,” Brewer told the Arizona Republic.
“I intend to get answers because peoples' lives and careers are at stake,” she continued.
Some don’t accept Brewer’s concerns. Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, says she is going against the wishes of the state’s voters.
“We are deeply frustrated by this announcement,” Kampia told the Arizona Journal. “The law Governor Brewer wants enjoined established an extremely well thought-out and conservative medical marijuana system.”
Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Health Services has dedicated an entire portion of its website to educate residents on the law. However, it makes it clear that there will be no movement on this issue until the ruling comes down from the federal court.
Included in that are those who are intended on filing for a dispensary license to grow and cultivate marijuana for medical use. That process is on hold for the entire month of June. Ryan Hurley, a Scottsdale-based attorney said people who want to open dispensaries should not be in fear of the federal government.
“Health care providers and medical marijuana dispensary operators shouldn’t have to worry about federal prosecution for simply trying to treat sick patients,” Hurley told the Sonoran News. “Hopefully this fear of prosecution can be put to rest and the legality of state [medical marijuana] laws can finally be upheld.”