State picks Tucson area ZIP codes for ‘social equity’ pot dispensary program; Jonathan Udell, cannabis attorney at Rose Law Group, talks to Daily Star about criteria used.

By Edward Celaya | Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona health department released a list of 87 ZIP codes, eight of which fall wholly or partially in Pima County, that will help determine the eligibility of applicants to the state’s “social equity” program for two-dozen licenses to own marijuana dispensaries.

“(The Arizona Department of Health Services) conducted an extensive analysis concerning whether a community meets the social equity program’s requirement of disproportionate impact from the enforcement of previous marijuana laws,” ADHS said in a statement.

Two weeks ago, the department released the 87 ZIP codes in Arizona that are essential for potential applicants to be eligible to meet the geographic requirement behind the state’s four-criteria application process. The local ZIP codes include an area west of Tucson that includes the Tohono O’odham Nation lands, on the south side, the southwest side, the southeast side, and a corridor along I-10 stretching north from the downtown area.

The ZIP codes selected locally are: 85321, 85634, 85757, 85746, 85705, 85713, 85714 and 85706.

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Basing a methodology off those two criteria is “interesting and notable” according to Jon Udell, an attorney with the Rose Law Group and the communication director for the Arizona’s branch of NORML.

“It’s surprising,” he said. “Most of us were expecting the criteria to be based off the arrests or conviction rates in a particular area, not race or socio-economic status.”

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