Tucson marijuana dispensary first to operate - Tucson News Now

Tucson marijuana dispensary first to operate

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When the doors open tomorrow (Saturday, December 1, 2012) at the Southern Arizona Integrated Therapies (SAINTS) dispensary, it will the first to operate in the state.

Because it will have an 11-day pre-registration period, it will likely not be the first to dispense marijuana.

That will go to a dispensary in Glendale which will open on Monday, Arizona Organix.

Arizona Organix was licensed in the state two weeks ago but said it needed some time to make sure things operated smoothly.

It moved it's opening day from Saturday to Monday.

Once a dispensary is licensed, patients who apply for a medical marijuana card are no longer allowed to "grow their own" if they live within 25 miles of the dispensary.

That will encompass much of the Phoenix area. The same applies to Tucson.

The Tucson dispensary is very clinical in appearance.

We were allowed inside through a locked, secure door, but not allowed to take photographs.

It resembles a normal doctors office with a small reception area, a receptionist behind a glass enclosure, a couple of chairs and certificates on the walls.

The difference is this office will have an armed guard standing outside the front door.

The office will pre-register its patients who are required to make an appointment.

Several people showed up early to schedule an appointment, like cancer patient Gregory Shepis.

"I'm hoping to gain some weight from marijuana laced in my brownies," Shepis says.  "The doctor suggested I try it."

He's lost 50 pounds after chemotherapy and radiation from cancer of the lymph nodes. The cancer came back after years of remission.

"I've never done anything like this before," he says. "But I'm willing to try."

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