Arizona Medical Marijuana Regulators Must Revise Fee Policies, Auditor’s Review Says

Arizona Medical Marijuana Regulators Must Revise Fee Policies, Auditor’s Review Says
MJmooment

“What happens when there is a lack of transparency is that it affects our ability to set our legislative agenda.” By David Abbott, Arizona Mirror The Arizona Department of Health Services has yet to enact needed changes to how it manages the state’s medical marijuana fund that state auditors recommended three years ago, the auditors said in a report released last month. The Arizona auditor general issued an update to its 2019 audit of ADHS’s management of the medical marijuana fund, and found ADHS has been slow to enact changes that would address the misallocation of funds that were used to pay some salaries in the department. While ADHS has followed most of the recommendations laid out in 2019—such as addressing timely revocation of medical marijuana certifications for patients who violated the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA); performing medical marijuana facility inspections, and addressing complaints and noncompliance issues—the department has yet to adequately audit its fee structure and address funding allocations for specific uses outlined in cannabis legislation. The audit found that, under the leadership of former Director Cara Christ, ADHS had not developed sufficient written policies and procedures that could “help determine whether an expenditure is allowable and whether it should be allocated to the fund,” and ensure employees documented time spent on tasks related to its management. “The Department paid some employee salaries from the Fund even though they worked on non-Program responsibilities during at least one of the pay periods we reviewed,” the auditors reported. “The extent and impact of payroll expenditures being incorrectly allocated to the Fund is not known, incorrectly allocating expenditures further decreases available monies in the Fund for Program operations and other statutorily required or permitted uses, such as for statutorily authorized clinical trials and proficiency testing, which the Department has not yet allocated…

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Source : Arizona Medical Marijuana Regulators Must Revise Fee Policies, Auditor’s Review Says

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