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Jul 17, 2014 1:27 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Tucson closer to relaxing medical marijuana rules

TUCSON - The city is closer to relaxing regulations on the medical marijuana industry.

The Planning Commission will send its recommendations to the City Council for approval. One of the biggest changes will remove the size-limit on cultivation sites.

Purple Med just built a new greenhouse in the city, but it is only allowed 3,000 square-feet.

"Nobody really had a clue as to what should be the size, what's going to work, what doesn't," Jean-Paul Genet with Purple Med said. "So although it would have been better to have it happen sooner, it's fine."

The site can easily expand if the city will allow.

Vicky Puchi-Saavedra had a hard time finding a warehouse for Earth's Healing.

"It was almost impossible to find a cultivation site," she said. "Because even in industrial areas, you have schools, daycares, parks, churches, rehab facilities."

The commission voted to only restrict cultivation sites near school zones.

The commission also voted to allow dispensaries to stay open until midnight.

It also voted to allow dispensaries to deliver to any patient with a medical marijuana card.

Genet said state law still requires all transactions to be recorded on video, but Purple Med already uses the technology in Santa Cruz County. He also said deliveries are only about 3-percent of their business in Santa Cruz County, and the patients who use the service generally cannot drive on their own.

The commission voted to allow the new rules to sunset in 4 years. It added the sunset clause because without it, changing the law is much more difficult.

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