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After three years in the pandemic, when they were prohibited from dropping people from Medicaid rolls, Arizona officials have started to review recipients and drop those who no longer qualify. But they said they are working to steer people to other coverage.

Arizona and other states are once again free to verify that Medicaid enrollees are still qualified and cancel coverage if they’re not, and as many as 15 million Americans, including 7 million children, could lose the health coverage they relied on through the pandemic. Read more»

So far in the first three months of 2023, Arizona cannabis consumers have purchased 16,532 pounds of medical marijuana in various forms.

After nearly $1.5 billion in sales in 2022, Arizona’s cannabis market continues to be robust in the first months of 2023, driven by a growing recreational market, with the medical marijuana market remaining in a freefall. Read more»

Rep. Cesar Aguilar sought to contrast Arizona Republicans’ championing of tamale vendors with their history of anti-immigrant policies, but was immediately interrupted by an uproar from GOP lawmakers, who used a procedural move to stop him. Rep. Mariana Sandoval was also stopped from speaking.

An attempt by Arizona Republicans to rebuke Gov. Katie Hobbs for vetoing a bill aimed at expanding the sale of homemade foods failed after most legislative Democrats sided with her, slamming the move to override her veto as just another effort to undermine her. Read more»

The Arizona Department of Health Services contracted with the Foundation for Senior Living, a senior housing organization, to deliver COVID-19 testing services to seniors and other adults.

Even as COVID-19 levels decline, the Arizona health department continues to deliver tests, vaccinations and other medical services to underserved, low-income communities across the state. Read more»

The University of Arizona is working to block TikTok from university-owned personal computing devices, according to a UA spokesperson.

Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Wednesday banning the use of the social media app TikTok on all state owned devices, as universities - including Arizona’s three major universities - and even some countries make similar moves. Read more»

Supporters of bills to battle dementia spoke of the need for a statewide effort to battle dementia at a news conference at the state Capitol. One bill would require the Arizona Department of Health Services to build a dementia plan for policies and programs to fight Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, according to advocates.

State legislators are pushing a bill to build a state dementia plan and put up to $500,000 toward new jobs focused on Alzheimer’s disease, a common type of dementia that is rising especially fast in Arizona. Read more»

More sophisticated hackers and sellers in the online criminal ecosystem will not openly sell their 'high end' wares, only sharing that information with clients they trust or holding the information for their own personal use.

Multiple state agencies, including the Arizona Department of Homeland Security and state’s Medicaid provider, may have had their passwords and login credentials exposed in a breach of the popular password management software LastPass. Read more»

La ley de Arizona prohíbe que los comestibles de marihuana estén diseñados para parecerse a los dulces de los niños, como los ositos de goma. En una dispensario con licencia en Arizona, los dulces de marihuana para adultos están etiquetados con la dosis específica en cada dulce y en su contenedor. La ley estatal exige que los comestibles estén limitados a un máximo de 10 mg de THC por comestible y un máximo de 100 mg de THC por paquete de comestibles.

La cantidad de niños que confunden la marihuana comestible con dulces va en aumento, y casi el 60 % de los 394 incidentes pediátricos con cannabis el año pasado requirieron una visita al hospital. Read more»

Arizona law prohibits edibles from being designed to look like children’s candies, such as gummy bears. and marijuana gummies for adults must be labeled with the specific dose on individual gummies and their container. State law limits edibles to a maximum of 10mg of THC per edible and 100mg of THC per package of edibles.

The number of children who mistake edible marijuana for candy is on the rise, with panicked parents calling Arizona poison control centers for help- and experts say nearly 60% of 394 pediatric cannabis incidents last year required a hospital visit. Read more»

The overall total cannabis sales for both markets since the advent of legal adult-use in January 2021 is $2.9 billion.

Total Arizona marijuana sales in 2022 mirrored the total from 2021, the first year of the legal adult use market, but the paths that each year reached $1.4 billion in sales were strikingly different. Read more»

Within a two-week period in October 2021, two state hospital patients were suspected of taking their own lives in the facility, raising questions about oversight, staffing and training at the hospital.

State legislators unanimously advanced a proposal to create an independent board to oversee the Arizona State Hospital, which cares for some of the state’s most vulnerable people, and is currently subject to oversight by the Arizona Department of Health Services. Read more»

Because it may not be clear which of the multiple drugs in someone’s system is the one that actually killed them, the bill instead targets anyone who sold the user a drug that may have contributed to the death.

The Arizona House Health and Human Services Committee voted in favor of a bill that would establish a level 1 felony punishment for selling a narcotic drug that results in the death of the user - but some Democrats say the bill is unconstitutional and broad. Read more»

Allison, who asked that only her first name be used because of concerns about mental health stigma, sits in front of her home in Tucson on Nov. 3, 2022. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 18, Allison sought help from a perinatal psychiatrist when she decided to start a family. A new statewide hotline aims to help more people like her.

Perinatal psychiatrists at the University of Arizona, are teaming up to to launch a statewide hotline next spring for providers who serve the perinatal population in an effort to assist pregnant and postpartum women with maternal mental and behavioral health conditions. Read more»

A staff member at Hushabye Nursery in Phoenix feeds one of the babies on Nov. 8, 2022. Infants brought to the nursery are withdrawing from drugs they were exposed to before birth – opioids, in particular. Across the country, cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome increased 82% from 2010 to 2017. That means that in the U.S., a baby is diagnosed with NAS every 19 minutes.

Across the country, cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome increased a startling 82% from 2010 to 2017 - while Arizona cases increased 41% from 2017 to 2021 - and a Phoenix nursery is working to end the cycles that lead to multigenerational patterns of addiction. Read more»

Arizona officials are urging people to get flu shots this fall to avoid the double threat of flu and COVID-19, which they fear could overburden state hospitals.

As the holidays loom, three respiratory illnesses are hitting the state and public health officials say now is the very best time for Arizonans to get vaccinated in order to be best protected come time for family gatherings.  Read more»

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