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Lawmakers tour cannabis cultivation site

Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol TimesTwo Arizona lawmakers toured a sprawling medical marijuana cultivation facility Thursday to see first-hand how the state’s regulated medical marijuana industry has come into bloom.

Reps. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, and Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, both said the tour helped them get a better idea of how the industry has developed and what proper compliance with the state’s 2010 voter approved medical marijuana law looks like.

J.P. Holyoak one of the purveyors of Arizona Natural Selections, a medical marijuana dispensary with retail stores in Cave Creek and Peoria, led the tour of his dispensary’s cultivation site, showing off thousands of cannabis plants in various stages of growth.

Holyoak said more than $1 million has gone into the facility, which will see its first harvest of marijuana in the next four to six weeks.

Holyoak, who described himself as an “unashamed conservative Republican,” said he thinks his party should embrace medical marijuana as a policy issue, rather than try to prevent it from being implemented or repeal the state law, as some Republican politicians have tried to do.

For Holyoak, the issue is also personal. His 5-year-old daughter, Reese, was born with Aicardi syndrome, a debilitating brain disorder that at one point caused her to have 25-30 seizures that would last 8-10 minutes every day. Holyoak did not want to say on the record that his daughter uses medical marijuana, but he said her seizures have practically gone away.

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