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Tucson Metropolis Council approves marijuana dispensary opening tied to social fairness license

3 min read

Earlier than the Tucson Metropolis Council met in September to think about permitting a
new leisure marijuana dispensary inside metropolis limits, its members
acquired a cautionary message.

The possible dispensary would function below certainly one of Arizona’s 26
so-called social fairness licenses, designed to uplift people harmed
by the Conflict on Medicine as a part of a voter-approved initiative to legalize
marijuana. However its proprietor could be Mohave Hashish Co., “a agency practically
universally acknowledged to be essentially the most exploitative of social fairness
candidates,” in line with the warning.

The e-mail got here from Julie Gunnigle, authorized director for marijuana
reform group Arizona NORML. She argued that if the council
permitted the request from Mohave—which had obtained 5 social fairness
licenses utilizing techniques
Gunnigle and others deemed exploitative—it might be a “highly effective blow to
the particular exceptions course of,” an additional layer of metropolis evaluate meant to
safeguard the group from “dangerous actors.” 

Zsa Zsa Simone Brown, a hashish entrepreneur with advocacy group Acre 41, sounded the identical alarm in the course of the council assembly.

“At a minimal, Mohave Hashish ought to reply the questions raised by
the current lawsuits that they’re concerned in that alleged exploitation
and fraud of weak licensees within the social fairness course of and
program,” she advised metropolis leaders. 

The council voted 4-2 to approve the dispensary anyway, with some members claiming their palms have been tied.

“In the present day’s resolution is a land use resolution, solely, and it’s not our
position to analyze the allow holder or to redress wrongs that have been
made on the state degree,” mentioned Councilmember Kevin Dahl, who represents
the realm the place the dispensary plans to open. “Whereas I agree that the
state’s allowing course of is flawed, that’s not within the purview of this

Dahl famous the dispensary would take over a vacant and uncared for
constructing, and talked about that the applicant had “generously agreed” to
donate $10,000 to environmental nonprofit Bushes for Tucson.

Nonetheless, the donation pales compared to the earnings Mohave might
see as soon as the dispensary opens. And, as Gunnigle identified, the
particular person the agency initially partnered with to acquire the license—and
later “discarded”—gained’t reap the long run advantages of the profitable

Advanced zoning legal guidelines are simply certainly one of numerous obstacles confronted by the
state’s social fairness licensees as they race towards an 18-month
deadline to open dispensaries. As with different obstacles baked into the
program, well-heeled company dispensaries are higher geared up to
navigate them than non-public people. 

Dispensaries opened below social fairness licenses
are thought-about marijuana institutions, that means they permit simply
leisure, and never medical, marijuana gross sales. This created a patchwork
of zoning legal guidelines as a result of many cities determined leisure hashish might
solely be bought inside a medical marijuana dispensary after voters handed
Prop. 207, successfully banning standalone leisure dispensaries in
these jurisdictions.

Mayor Regina Romero was certainly one of two officers to vote towards Mohave’s
request, saying she wished to see “a greater funding, higher
alternative for the realm,” which already offers with open drug use.
Councilmember Lane Santa Cruz was the opposite, although they declined to
remark by means of a spokesperson. 

The remainder of the council members current voted in favor of the
request, regardless of not less than one member calling advocates’ issues about
the request “completely based.” 

“They’ve labored the system over, and I’ll say that on the report,”
Councilmember Paul Cunningham mentioned of Mohave and different company
dispensaries that had overtaken the social fairness program. “It’s
completely ridiculous that they’re ready to do that. However the backside line
is, I’ve gotta take up for my city.”

Mohave Hashish declined to remark for this story.

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