Tucson forum on medical marijuana rules

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The rules have been released.  Now, many Arizonans are ready to operate their own medical marijuana businesses.

Monday, Tucsonans interested in starting up a grow operation or dispensary got a chance to see what's involved.

Now that Arizona has become the 15th state to enact a medical marijuana law.  People are wondering how the measure will impact them.

Monday, a few dozen people got their questions answered at a forum in Tucson hosted by the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association.

Just last week the Arizona department of health services released its rules for medical marijuana use and distribution.

Among the requirements, patients must get a recommendation from a doctor licensed in Arizona or one who has been treating them for years.

Also, applicants who want to operate a dispensary must put down $5,000 with a $1,000 annual renewal fee.

"About 92 pages worth of rules, but they look really good, they look like they've done their research as far as making sure everything gets structured right," said Heidi Kay.

Applicants will have to first find a location for their dispensary, then make sure it coincides with zoning rules, then fill out a business plan.

The medical marijuana association hopes the process is just the beginning of a growing acceptance.

"I recognize the controversial nature of the industry, but increasingly there are demonstrations of the value of the alternative approach to medicine," said Joe Yuhas from the Medical Marijuana Association.

People interested in opening up a dispensary will have the entire month of June to submit their applications.

The Arizona medical marijuana association expects the first dispensaries to open up in late summer or the fall.