Status of the Herbal Certificate Sunrise Proposal

In order to change law or statutes in the state of Arizona, legislation must be pursued according to specifically detailed rules. A proposal (called a Sunrise) must first be presented. It must go through Senate and House committees, at which point it becomes a bill. The bill must then be voted on by the House and the Senate, at which point it sits on the Governor’s desk until she either signs it into law or vetoes it.

The AzSOMA herbal certificate Sunrise proposal is still in stage one. Neither it nor any of the other half-dozen sunrise proposals from other professions have gone to legislative committee as a result of actions in the political process that have nothing to do with health care, acupuncture, or professional issues: It is State politics pure and simple.

AzSOMA is taking advantage of this lull in the political arena to pull back on moving the proposal forward during this legislative session.  We are doing this for two reasons:

First, the Acupuncture Board of Examiners (BoE) will have an opportunity to further review our proposal. Since the BoE will be responsible for administrating the certificate, we want to work with them to insure we have crafted legislation that is easily implementable and will not require any undue fees transferred to practitioners who will be applying for the herbal certificate.

Second is an issue that has AzSOMA quite concerned. We have discovered through the comments in the survey, that a significant level of misunderstanding and misinformation has been disseminated with regard to the herbal certificate proposal. As a result, many practitioners are unnecessarily fearful – and in fact feel panicked – that this proposal will have a negative impact on their ability to practice acupuncture. We wish to take the time gifted to us by the slow-down in the legislature to address these fears and hopefully clear up some of the misunderstandings that have been formed.

We know that not everyone will support this proposal, but we also know that a statistically relevant percent of practitioners want to have herbs legislated into our scope of practice through this proposal. We want to assure you that AzSOMA has not withdrawn or canceled the Sunrise, and we are still committed to moving forward on this once these concerning issues have been addressed.

In the new year, AzSOMA will begin working with a committee that includes representatives from the Acupuncture Board of Examiners and members of the community  to ensure that the proposal is solid and implementable. 

Be Responsibly Informed.

In order to be responsibly informed, it is important to confirm the sources of information. Documents regarding the Herbal Certificate proposal that are not issued directly from AzSOMA through mailings or linked from the AzSOMA website may contain errors or misinterpretations.  Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the proposal, and let us know if you hear any misinformation so it can be immediately addressed and corrected.

Thank you for your support and patience.

Elyse Tera, L.Ac.
President, AzSOMA

Information about Arizona Acupuncturists

AZSOMA represents the fully-trained, Licensed Acupuncturists in the state of Arizona. Our organization is dedicated to protecting the profession, promoting the medicine of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine to the public and ensuring the highest standards, and supporting member acupuncturists in meeting their continuing education needs, networking, and in having fun!

We look forward to serving you and keeping you updated with the latest information. In the meantime, if you need any assistance with accessing your membership privileges on the website or have any questions, please contact AzSOMA.

Document 1: The latest Herbal Proposal Version in html format or as a PDF file.

Document 2: FAQ in html format or as a PDF file – answers the common questions regarding the proposal.

Document 3: Guide to Pathways to Qualify to Prescribe Herbs html format or as a PDF file.