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Burns & Gambo

First medical-marijuana dispensary opens in Phoenix

PHOENIX -- Before the bright orange front door ever opened at Bloom Phoenix, Debra Howard was waiting outside to pick up her medical-marijuana prescription.

"I have chronic abdominal pain due to nerve damage. I have chronic back pain from arthritis and some bulging discs," Howard said.

After trying other methods to cure the pain, Howard's doctor recommended medicinal marijuana. Wednesday was the first time she picked up the prescription.

"I'm just glad this is here and I hope it works for me," Howard said.

Medical marijuana was approved by voters in 2010. Since then, the Arizona Department of Health said it has issued about 38,000 medical-marijuana cards.

Located next to the Sky Train, Bloom Phoenix is the 14th dispensary to open in the state. Glendale's Organix was the first, having opened in December.

Bloom also operates a state-licensed dispensary in Sedona.

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