State officials have released the lengthy list of entrepreneurs and groups that want to make their business grow by obtaining one of the 35 medical marijuana dispensary licenses allotted for the state.
After initially implying that around 100 applicants had filed forms for the first phase of the licensing process, the list of potential storeowners reached 181 by deadline on Thursday, August 22.
The Department of Public Health, the agency in charge of the application process, and the rules and regulations set for the medical marijuana industry, anticipates that the “phase one review” will be completed by mid September. “At that time, the list of applicants who make it to phase two will be made available to the public,” according to officials.
Here is how the phases for the application will happen, according to the DPH:
Under phase one, dispensary applicants will be reviewed for, among other things, non-profit status and financial viability. Applicants must also report whether any member of their proposed organization has a felony drug conviction. Applicants who meet the qualifications in phase one will be eligible to proceed to phase two this fall where a selection committee will conduct an in-depth review and select dispensaries through a competitive process.
The committee will evaluate and score phase two applications based on such factors as appropriateness of the site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients while ensuring public safety.
As the state anticipated, the competition is so tight right now that some applicants have filed applications for multiple counties, so not to limit themselves to one area of the state.
A majority of the applications filed indicated they wanted to open up in Middlesex County—of the 181 applicants, 47 were in that county alone. “The voter-approved law allows DPH to register up to 35 non-profit Registered Marijuana Dispensaries across the state, with at least one but no more than five dispensaries per county,” officials said.
Unlike their product-counterparts—“Pot Tarts” and “Nugtella”— that are sold in stores at dispensaries in other states, the names of the groups that have applied for licenses in Massachusetts are mild at best. Here’s a quick sample: Releaf Collective Inc., Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, Growth Mindset, Inc., Planting Hope, and A New Leaf, Inc., to name a few.
Below is the partial list of applicants in Middlesex county. The entire list of applicants can be found on the DPH website. The list of applicants includes the name of the non-profit corporation, a contact person, and the first county of preference for the location.
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