The Town Council rejected a request by the Nature’s AZ Medicines medical marijuana dispensary in Fountain Hills to increase its operating hours and offer delivery service.
The vote was 5-2 opposing the request. Mayor Ginny Dickey and Councilman Alan Magazine supported the request.
Dickey noted that the business is legal based on state law with Department of Health Services regulation.
State law allows dispensaries to operate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Fountain Hills Zoning Ordinance restricts the hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“It is not for us to say how they should run their business,” Dickey said. “I can’t oppose this as long as it is within legal limits.”
Mark Steinmetz, Sixth Street Enterprises, owner and license holder of the Fountain Hills dispensary told the council the current allowable hours, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., does not serve the public interest.
“I believe access to medication is important,” Steinmetz said. “There are only a couple of hours in the evening people can get there.”
He added that evening hours from 8 to 10 p.m. are the busiest at another Phoenix dispensary owned by Sixth Street Enterprises.
Vice Mayor Sherry Leckrone opposed the change.
“I’m not in favor of 10 p.m.,” she said. “If a new ballot measure passes it will increase traffic.”
There is an effort to put a ballot measure to voters in November 2020 that would legalize recreational marijuana use.
Councilman David Spelich agreed with Leckrone. “We need to look at the big picture,” he said. “The last vote for recreational use was very close.
“I don’t believe that the hours are as detrimental as you