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Applications for pot dispensaries now open

In this Tuesday Jan. 26, 2010 file photo, a pedestrian walks past a marijuana leaf neon sign advertising a medical marijuana provider along a street in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, Calif. States may be saying yes to medical marijuana, but local governments are increasingly using their laws to keep dispensaries out. In California, nearly 200 city and county governments have banned marijuana dispensaries over the last eight years. That?s three times as many as have adopted regulations for them. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

State health officials are now accepting applications from medical marijuana dispensaries.

The Arizona Republic reports that starting Monday, operators of marijuana dispensaries can submit paperwork to become certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The voter-approved Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows the state to have up to 126 dispensaries. The application process, however, had been slowed by lawsuits and rule making.

Eligible operators must pay a $5,000 fee. Officials say the state will reimburse $1,000 to an applicant not chosen.

An Arizona judge recently ruled that medical marijuana dispensaries must employ a physician as a medical director to help oversee operations.

State health authorities anticipating awarding dispensary certificates this summer. The application deadline is May 25.

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