Published in Verde Independent
The Sedona City Council became the first Verde Valley community to approve a local Medical Marijuana Ordinance, Feb. 8. While the state initiative was approved by Arizona voters during the last election, local governments are allowed to regulate where the drug may be sold in their communities.
The approved Sedona ordinance allows medical marijuana dispensaries and their associated cultivation sites within the Sedona City limits in the C-1, C-2 and C-3 commercial zoning districts, and only if these facilities are located at least 500 feet from a school, church, park, recreational facility, day care, library or youth center.
Under Proposition 203, the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which was approved by voters in November of 2010, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has until the end of March 2011 to adopt and enforce a regulatory system for the distribution of marijuana for medical use. The act places an initial limit of approximately 125 nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries statewide, corresponding to one per every 10 pharmacies. Each county is also allowed at least one dispensary. Based on recent information from ADHS, it is likely that one registration certificate for a medical marijuana dispensary will be issued in the Sedona area this summer.
For more information, see the City of Sedona website at www.SedonaAZ.gov.
Other Verde governments are expected to approve similar ordinances. In Cottonwood, the City’s Planning Commission is getting its first look at a proposed zoning ordinance amendment during the Planning and Zoning meeting Monday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. The proposed ordinance amendment establishes performance standards for related uses and eligible zoning districts for dispensaries, according to the department.