A group representing licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona is asking police and sheriff's authorities statewide to crack down on unlicensed and illegal medical marijuana clubs.
The Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association said in a letter to law enforcement agencies that it is concerned about the threat the unlicensed clubs pose to the medical marijuana industry. The group said it is also worried about "the damage they can do to the reputation of licensed dispensaries that follow the rules."
The RDAA is calling on law enforcement to shut down operations that violate the rules as prescribed by Arizona's medical marijuana law.
The association's letter states, in part:
"More than 30,000 people rely on regulated marijuana dispensaries for the medication that relieves their pain. We serve patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, patients enduring chemotherapy, those suffering from arthritis, just to name a few. Many are frail or elderly, or both and they appreciate the clinical atmosphere our members provide.
"It is our fear that many are unaware of this difference between illegal marijuana clubs and licensed dispensaries. It is our hope that you recognize the difference. It is our hope that you will enforce the state's medical marijuana law and close the illegal 'clubs.' We suggest that if you have an illegal 'club' operating in your jurisdiction, that you give them a written notice to cease and desist, so they have an opportunity to close before further action is taken."
Licensed dispensaries must report to the Arizona Department of Health Services, follow a strict set of rules with respect to patient eligibility and dosage, observe local zoning laws and abide by Arizona's voter approved Medical Marijuana Act.
Unlicensed clubs do not have to follow the same set of rules.
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