Court Ruling Paves Way For Sun City's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

November 26, 2013

The senior living community of Sun City is a step closer to getting its first medical marijuana dispensary. A judge ruled that Maricopa County cannot prevent the pot stores from opening in unincorporated areas. 

Maricopa County Prosecutor Bill Montgomery tried to block the prospective owners of the White Mountain Health Center from getting permits to operate a dispensary in the West Valley, but the judge ruled that Maricopa County cannot try to put in place “overly restrictive zoning” laws that would prevent dispensaries from opening in unincorporated areas like Sun City. 

The Arizona American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit against the county, and spokesman Daniel Pachoda said the ruling is a victory for advocates of medical marijuana. 

"Absent an appeal and any reversal, the defendants, Maricopa County, has to indeed allow this dispensary to be certified and to move forward,” Pachoda said.

Montgomery has not challenged other dispensaries, because they opened in cities that have final say on zoning issues within their boundaries. Montgomery’s spokesman said the county attorney cannot comment on the issue, because an appeal is underway.