As you know from earlier blog posts a judge ruled in a state case that had challenged our dispensary applicant selection criteria. The judge’s decision basically struck down several of the selection criteria we had been planning to use to for competitive areas of the state (areas where there will be more than 1 applicant per Community Health Analysis Area).
Last week our team finished the revisions to the regulations by making adjustments to comply with the judge’s decision and to set a process for identifying a new timeline for accepting dispensary applications. We’ve shipped the revised rules to the Attorney General’s Office for final review. Once their review is complete, the AG’s office will file the final package with the Secretary of State- and the revised rules will become immediately effective.
I’ve heard that there’s a buzz in the community that we’re completely revamping the rules for dispensaries. This is not the case. We’ve simply made revisions to comply with the recent Superior Court Ruling. We’re still on track to be able to accept dispensary applications in April. We’d then have about 45 days to review and award dispensary certificates- so we could potentially award up to 125 dispensary certificates by mid- to late-June. If someone is pretty much ready to go at that point, we could see medical marijuana dispensaries operating in July or August.
P.S. There have been a couple of new lawsuits filed against the Department in the last couple of weeks. One challenges our authority to require a medical director at dispensaries and one challenges other aspects of the rules and the initiative language itself. It’s unclear whether these cases will impede our progress in getting the dispensaries licensed- but I’m going to do everything I can administratively and otherwise to make sure the dispensary licensing goes forward as planned.