Medical marijuana dispensing a step closer in Tucson

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The wait is finally over for medical marijuana patients.

Thursday, patients could begin applying to get the drug, to help treat pain caused by cancer and other diseases.

But the process to get that card isn't perfect.

"The card is basically the passport to getting the allowable amount of medical marijuana," Jill Wohlfiel from the Southwest Arizona Patient Alliance.

That 'passport' isn't easy to get.

There's several steps patients have to go through, paperwork to fill out doctors signatures to acquire all that before you can even start the on-line application.

"The on-line application process is just another step in stopping people form doing it," said medical marijuana user Bob Cherry.

Patients are already frustrated after day one. That's why the Southwest Arizona Patient Alliance opened their doors to help patients out.

"Some people don't know how to use their computers so that's what we're here for," said Wohlfiel.

They want to make sure patients have things like fingerprints done, before they go on-line. It's one of many things on a long checklist to get the card, but that's not the only problem.

The card costs $150 per year.They say the state is overcharging both patients and potential dispensaries. The cost to apply for a dispensary $5,000.

"That's going to price it out of the realm of most people especially people like us who just started in business," said Deborah Van Sant from The Medicine Shoppe.

Users should not expect to find medical marijuana at the local medicine shop anytime soon, that process won't start until June 1.

"We're all wound up with nowhere to go. People have their cards and information, but they cant go out and purchase," said Wohlfiel.

Still, for some, it's a day to celebrate.  One step closer to making medical marijuana just another medicine.

One in three people's applications were denied Thursday, mostly because they were incomplete.