A dozen Republican lawmakers are urging law enforcement officials to crack down on illegal marijuana clubs that operate outside of the state's medical marijuana law.
The letter sent to Attorney General Tom Horne, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Sheriff Joe Arpaio asks them to "vigorously enforce" the state medical marijuana law to close the shops operating outside the law.
The letter, obtained by the Arizona Capitol Times, says licensed dispensaries are operating within Arizona law and "are doing their best to fully comply with both the spirit and letter of our laws" but the clubs do not.
The letter was signed by 12 Republican, including Sens. Judy Burges and Chester Crandell and Reps. Ethan Orr and David Stevens.
Meanwhile, the state Health Services Department said Wednesday it will ease rules imposing a deadline for would-be operators of dispensaries to apply for annual renewals of their state certificates.
Health Services Director Will Humble announced that his department will accept renewal applications from all current certificate holders whether their dispensaries are open or not.
The announcement follows a judge's order barring the state from denying certificate renewals to dispensaries that hadn't yet received approvals to operate because they weren't ready to open.
Some prospective operators said they needed more time. They cited delays from uncertainty caused by a legal challenge to the medical marijuana system.
Humble said the ruling by Judge Randall Warner of Maricopa County Superior Court means the department must rewrite its dispensary rules. And Humble said that will take months.