Medical Marijuana

Dispensaries Mark End for Arizona's Legal Pot Growers

Patients allowed to grow medicinal marijuana must close down if they live within 25 miles of newly permitted dispensaries

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The bedroom shelters a full-scale legal medical-marijuana farm, with 5-foot-tall plants sprouting crystallized buds, and other plants at varying degrees of growth. A custom ventilation system cools the room. A humidifier keeps it moist; a hydroponic system pumps nutrients into plant roots; and professionally wired high-powered grow lamps are rigged to a timer.

Scott is one of more than 25,000 patients and caregivers who were allowed to grow medical marijuana beginning in 2010 while state officials fought the law and then figured out how to implement a plan for statewide dispensaries.

Today, however, will be the beginning of the end for many as the state Department of Health Services grants permission for 99 medical-marijuana dispensaries to open around the state.