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9/18/2012 10:31:00 AM
Medical marijuana dispensary high on priority list for Williams P&Z
Conditional use permit for Route 66 Wellness center on agenda for Thursday meeting
The former Pouquette Reality building at 341 E. Route 66 may become a medical marijuana dispensary if a conditional use permit is approved by the Williams Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Williams City Council. Ryan Williams/WGCN
The former Pouquette Reality building at 341 E. Route 66 may become a medical marijuana dispensary if a conditional use permit is approved by the Williams Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Williams City Council. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Ryan Williams
Managing Editor

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Medical Marijuana could be a reality in Williams in the future if the Williams Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) and City Council sign off on the proposed location at 341 E. Route 66.

The former Pouquette Reality office is zoned for commercial use. MGF Funding, Inc., currently owns the approximately 660 square foot property, a short-term commercial real estate equity loan company.

On Sept. 5, an application for a Conditional Use Permit was submitted to operate a medical marijuana dispensary at the location. According to documents obtained from the city of Williams, the application and plans were reviewed and found to be in compliance with city Ordinance No. 916.

The application goes before P&Z Thursday at 7 p.m. and then pending approval will then go before the Williams City Council Sept. 27.

Tim Moore, a former real estate broker who did business in Williams and Ash Fork years ago, submitted the application. His path to founding a medical marijuana dispensary stems from his work with a cancer research center based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"We got involved in that and then found out there was such a need for patients that are in critical condition that were not on the radar at all for any type of legal marijuana for them," Moore said.

Statewide, only 126 dispensaries will be allowed under Proposition 203, Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act. During the first drawing held in August, Moore said 99 were awarded.

Moore added city of Williams officials have created an open environment in which to seek the proper clearances for a dispensary.

"I think that Williams did a really good job making a public venue for people to talk about it if they needed to, but they did not make it over restrictive," he said. "In other words. I believe they put in the correct rules. I think the idea is they really want to have (a dispensary) there."

Should his application be approved, Moore said it will likely take some time before a fully functional dispensary, called the Route 66 Wellness Center, is up and running.

"We don't know how the (Arizona) Department of Health Services agenda is at this point and how quickly, even if we met all their criteria, because they have another set of criteria themselves that we have to meet, we may have to go back and forth with them to make sure that we do everything they would like us to do. We're going to be very low key and non-demonstrative up there," Moore said. "We're not in any hurry to open the doors and turn on the lights. That's not what we're about. We want to make sure we're on everybody's radar and they know what we're doing."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: can't stop it

Oh please, stop with the hyperbole. If it is a violation of federal law, then the feds can do something about it, if they choose. . It was passed by the citizens of Arizona! Organized crime? In Williams? I don't think so. Keith, do you even live in town?

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: Truth You say?

The truth is that these "medical" facilities have been found out to have ties to organized crime and gang activity. Counterfeit prescriptions are becoming the norm and these places are nothing more than illegal drug drive ins. We don't need this on main street. Keep it ou.t of sight and out of town.

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: the truth

There is no valid arguement against medical marijuana as long as you can buy cigarettes, booze, and prescription meds. Those kill hundreds of thousands of your fellow americans every year. Do you know how many people have been killed because of smoking marijuana? ZERO. You are against it because YOU dont like it. How does it affect you in any way? Tom Horne? The same Tom Horne that said that immigration law should be a state law and that the federal government should stay out. Now he wants to be a champion for the federal law agains marijuana. You cant have it both ways. States law for this, Federal law for that. Which way do you really want? You are picking and choosing laws based on your personal opinion. The voters have spoken. To say that the people you see outside the laundrymat are involved in drugs is irresponsible. You are judging others. Stop, that is just silly. If you people dont want to purchase medical marijuana, then dont. The same way if i dont want to purchase booze i stay out of the bar. Take responsibily for yourselves. Stay out of othes lives. Learn to be happy with who you are and dont worry about the private lives of others.

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: Mack Wilford

This is an outrage! I will never vote for anyone who approves this. It is like a serpent trying to lodge itself on a pristine little tourist town. Isn't anything sacred anymore? Let the addicted marijuana users get their drugs in Flagstaff.

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Article comment by: Keith Wilmot

Well, this takes the cake. This has got be be the dumbest idea I've ever seen coming out of the Williams P&Z and Council. Mr. Mayor and Council members take note. For those who vote in favor of this, I will make it my mission in life to get you out of office. We need a drug facility in Williams like a hole in the head...

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Article comment by: John James

Bringing MORE drugs problems to Williams. How quaint.

And by the way...

This is against FEDERAL law.

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

I think this is Abusurd! Just another drug problem in Wiliiams. When driving by the laudromat on N Grand Canyon Blvd seeing the same individuales there each day is a lil suspicious to me! Huh, doing Laundry again? Just my thought!!!

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Article comment by: CJ Smith

I know Williams is a small town and all, but doesn't the City Council have a lawyer? Hasn't anybody in Williams read Attorney General Tom Horne's Statement and Opinion that federal law preempts the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA)? How about the statement by the County Attorneys?

City Council members might want to consider (1) Mr. Horne's statement concerning the lack of immunity for state and government employees who implement the AMMA, and (2) the letter of request from the 13 Arizona County Attorneys, which states that "municipal employees are facilitating the violation of federal law each and every time they assist with each aspect of implementing the AMMA."

Do City Council members realize the issuance by city employees of a conditional use permit would facilitate violations of the Controlled Substances Act? Do they realize city employees will not be immune from federal prosecution for those violations?

More importantly, perhaps, are city employees aware they will violate federal law if they issue a permit for a dispensary of an illegal substance?

Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Article comment by: Williams Resident

Oh joy!! How is this going to benefit the local residents other than those that 'need' this form of medication?

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