The next marijuana dispensary opening in Cochise County will be in Douglas, state officials announced Monday.
A drawing was held at the Arizona Department of Health Services for rural counties in the state that were eligible to obtain licenses to open marijuana dispensaries within their jurisdictions. Each county was allowed two licenses.
Arizona voters legalized recreational marijuana in November. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 2010.
Cochise County was eligible for only one license since there is already a medical/recreational dispensary in Bisbee, the Green Farmacy.
A total of 32 applications from Cochise County for a dispensary license were sent to the state’s health department, which oversees the licensing of marijuana dispensaries. The applications included 11 from Sierra Vista, nine from Bisbee, nine from Douglas and three from Willcox.
Only one of Cochise County’s applicants actually lives in the area. The rest hail from other parts of the state, mainly Maricopa and Pima counties.
A list of the applicants chosen Monday shows that the business entity that will operate Douglas’ dispensary is called Formula 420 Cannabis, LLC. According to the Arizona Corporations Commission the owner or registered agent is Kimberly Wagner of San Tan Valley.
Steve Elliott, a spokesman with the state’s health department, said state law dictated that the applicants from each county had to be chosen in a random drawing. The state used a ping pong ball machine similar to those used to pick winning lottery numbers. Each applicant was assigned a number with a letter. The winning number for Cochise County was B2.
The drawing itself was ceremonial, with two men wearing face masks and white surgical gloves, handling the ping pong ball machine and the winning numbers. Each county’s ping pong balls, kept in sealed plastic bags, were dumped into the machine and given a whirl for several seconds. The winning balls were then placed in a separate, sealed plastic bag.
Douglas City Planner Peter Gardner said the dispensary would be built at Fifth Street and Chino Road. As of Tuesday morning, Gardner had not heard from the people who own the proposed business. He said the area where the dispensary is planned for, is currently a vacant lot.