First Ariz. medical marijuana dispensary open for business


by Javier Soto

Bio | Email | Follow: @JavierSotoTV

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Updated Sunday, Nov 3 at 5:42 AM

Map: Arizona Organix
5301 W. Glendale Ave.

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It's been two years in the making but today Arizona's first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors.

Arizona Organix was the first dispensary to be inspected by the Arizona Department of Health Services but the business didn't open the doors immediately.

After a Superior Court judge ruled that Arizona's medical marijuana initiative was constitutional, Organix was ready to go. As for the lingering cloud of prosecution by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, "a judge settled that issue earlier this week," said owner Bill Mayer. 

The Glendale facility is separated into two rooms, a waiting room and a room where you are able to select which "grade" of marijuana you want. No cash is accepted, but once an item is picked, the patient goes to another secure window where the purchase is made. Only two people are allowed into the back room for security purposes. 

Two hours before the opening of the state's first dispensary, Mike Gonzales was lined up outside Arizona Organix, ready for the doors to open.

"I was worried there was going to be a long line and I wanted to be first," he said. Gonzales says the marijuana eases the pain caused by a tumor in his neck.

According to Gonzales the new dispensary means he will now be able to get his "medication" from a safer, more secure location.

DHS will no longer allow incoming patients to grow their own marijuana if they live within 25 miles of a dispensary. The Glendale site's opening will mean the end of legal growing for everyone in Phoenix.

Those who are already approved will have their licenses to grow suspended once they try to renew.

The Glendale dispensary is among 96 applicants chosen through a lottery system for 126 geographic areas across the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.