If recreational marijuana becomes legalized in Arizona, the Town of Sahuarita will prohibit strictly recreational dispensaries from opening within town limits.
The council on Monday voted, 6-1, to adopt an ordinance placing restrictions on recreational marijuana should Prop. 207 pass Nov. 3.
Under the ordinance, marijuana will be prohibited on public property and marijuana establishments will be prohibited in town limits, unless they are medical marijuana dispensaries or those with a dual license operating both a nonprofit medical dispensary and recreational dispensary in the same space.
Currently, there is one medical dispensary in town, Hana Meds, which will not be affected by the ordinance and can apply for a dual license.
The town will also prohibit marijuana testing facilities inside town limits, though Mayor Tom Murphy said they are open to discussing that in the future.
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns provided municipalities with several draft ordinances should Prop. 207 pass.
Prop. 207 is written with the allowance for local municipalities to have control over determining restrictions or prohibition.
In general, the council decided it best to adopt regulations now and make adjustments as needed in the future.
Councilman Bill Bracco was the dissenting vote, cautioning that this action could create a monopoly for the one dispensary in town.
“Personally, not as a councilman, I don't like this prop to begin with, I think it’s dangerous. However, if it does pass I don't like to see additional regulations being put on a business that was legal and lawful,” he said. “This is going to create a monopoly for the only dual-license facility in our town. There is no way that is going to regulate the amount of marijuana going through that facility, the market will only be able to do that. We could potentially create a Walmart of ganja.”
Murphy said the Town is interested in learning how the community feels about Prop 207 and marijuana testing facilities or dispensaries. He feels this ordinance gives them a little control in the process.