For years, Payson has had a storefront dispensary to meet the needs of the medical marijuana community in the area.
Then, Arizona voters changed everything.
They passed an initiative that allows for recreational use of marijuana for anyone 21 years and older.
The vote caused quite the fallout locally.
The medical marijuana dispensary site closed after the owner sold the license and the new license holder moved the operation to the Valley.
Medical users can still pick up orders made online, but recreational users must go elsewhere or put up a greenhouse. The new initiative allows people to grow their own, providing they have no more than six plants per person growing in a secure structure not visible from the street.
Most complicated of all, the council must re-do the town code to allow for a recreational use only dispensary.
To start the process, the council heard a report earlier in June, on what the new law means to the town and its code.
“When the (Town of Payson) initially took action on (recreational) … marijuana (it decided) to only be dispensed from a dual license holder,” said Sheila DeSchaaf, deputy town manager and public works director.
A dual license holder can sell both recreational and medical marijuana, but Andrew Provencio, owner and founder of the Payson dispensary wanted to make sure the community always had a storefront operation.
“I knew if I sold (the license), the license would move to the Valley,” he said.
Valid concerns said DeSchaaf.
The state rules originally required medical dispensary licenses to remain within a set area designated by the Department of Health Services “for a period of at least three years,” said DeSchaaf.
“After the three-year limit was up, the majority of medical license holders moved their facilities to metro areas because they were worth a good deal more due to the volume of customers/sales,”