On April 27, the Town of Marana will hear public comments regarding a conditional-use application submitted by Progressive Herbal Care to open a medical marijuana dispensary with on-site cultivation.

While the Arizona Department of Health Services is not accepting dispensary applications until June 1, prospective business owners are allowed to start searching for sites for the new facilities.

Progressive Herbal Care applied to open the facility at 6248 N. Travel Center Drive. The property is zoned light industrial.

Pursuant to Title 5 of the Town of Marana Land Development Code, approval of a conditional-use permit is required before Progressive Herbal Care can move forward.

Progressive Herbal Care, with offices at 6945 N. Mona Lisa Road, submitted the application on March 31.

Unlike most Arizona cities, Marana got ahead of the curve, establishing zoning codes to regulate medical marijuana last October.

Arizona residents voted in November to make medical marijuana legal for qualified patients.

The Marana City Council voted to keep dispensaries and marijuana-growing facilities a minimum of 1,000 feet from family recreation facilities, schools, libraries, parks and churches.

If approved, Progressive Herbal Care will also have to comply with strict state guidelines. ADHS is requiring a dispensary to have $150,000 in the bank prior to the application being approved along with paying to comply with strict security guidelines.

In establishing state guidelines for medical marijuana use and distribution, ADHS split the state into 130 areas known as Community Health Analysis. One dispensary is allowed in each CHA.

The City of Tucson has already received 20 applications to open dispensaries.

ADHS officials estimate dispensaries will begin opening in late summer or early fall.

The public hearing in Marana will be held Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Drive.

Public hearing on conditional-use permit for a medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation site to be held at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive, Wednesday, April 27, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Reporter Thelma Grimes can be reached at 797-4384 or by email at tgrimes@explorernews.com.

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