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Jul 31, 2013 5:17 PM by Jesse Cohen

Ariz. to ease restrictions on dispensary renewals

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona medical marijuana regulators are easing rules imposing a deadline for would-be operators of dispensaries to apply for annual renewals of their state certificates.

Health Services Director Will Humble announced Wednesday that his department will accept renewal applications from all current certificate holders whether their dispensaries are open or not.

The announcement follows a judge's order barring the state from denying certificate renewals to dispensaries that hadn't yet received approvals to operate because they weren't ready to open,.

Some prospective operators said they needed more time. They cited delays from uncertainty caused by a legal challenge to the medical marijuana system.

Humble says the ruling by Judge Randall Warner of Maricopa County Superior Court means the department must rewrite its dispensary rules. And Humble says that'll take months.

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