image that displays Medical Marijuana flow chart

The Department will meet with all applicants with provisional approval for a Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) to determine the validity of each statement made by the applicants under the pains and penalty of perjury, as well as the basis for their local support, and their plans to comply with local laws and permitting. The meetings have been part of DPH’s planned process since the rollout of the dispensary selection process last year.

Download PDF version of flow chart above. pdf format of A Rigorous Process for Reg. Marijuana Dispensaries

DPH Verifies Letters of Support

The Department has contacted officials whose letters of support or non-opposition were included in provisionally approved applications to ensure the information is accurate and up to date.

DPH Meets with Municipalities to Confirm Siting and Local Support

Following applicant meetings, DPH will confirm local siting with the chief executive of each of the host municipalities, further ensuring the validity of all statements of local compliance. Regular check-ins will be done with applicants and municipalities to monitor progress on local approvals. The Department will give regular updates to municipalities and provide technical assistance to elected officials, municipal boards and officials, local law enforcement, and interested community groups.

Applicants Attest to Application Materials and DPH Issues Provisional Certificates of Registration

After DPH confirms local support and approves the applicant’s operations plan for implementation (including Management and Board of Directors), the applicant will sign an attestation, at which time DPH will provide a provisional certificate of registration. This provisional certificate allows the applicant to start their local permitting processes and to begin implementing their plans to open the RMD. The provisional certificate does not allow the RMD to open

DPH Conducts Initial Inspection

The DPH inspector will assess the dispensary’s status in implementing its operational plan, as well as security and architectural plans, and confirm that the dispensary is compliant with local municipal zoning and requirements. If the site is under active development, the inspector may conduct a preliminary site inspection.

DPH Conducts Grow-ready Inspection

The DPH inspector will verify that the RMD is secure, review the RMD’s policies & procedures, confirm that the RMD has contracted with a regulations-approved testing lab, and ensure that the RMD has met all grow requirements. The inspector will also verify the RMD’s up-to-date compliance with local municipal requirements.

DPH Conducts Processing-ready Inspection

The inspector will verify that all security requirements have been met, and the RMD has developed appropriate policies and procedures as promised in their application. All processing requirements for medical use of marijuana must be met. The inspector will also verify the RMD’s up-to-date compliance with local municipal requirements.

DPH Conducts Retail-ready Inspection

The DPH inspector will clear the RMD for retail service at this stage if all inspection requirements are met and if the RMD has no pending Plans of Correction. The inspector will also verify the RMD’s up-to-date compliance with local municipal requirements. If the RMD does not pass the retail-ready inspection, they will be given a chance to make corrections and then be re-inspected.

Once All Inspections Are Complete, Including Checks for Compliance with All Municipal Requirements, DPH Issues Final Certificate of Registration

After DPH final inspection, including local support and up-to-date compliance with local regulations, an applicant will receive a final certificate of registration. The dispensary is allowed to operate in the Commonwealth after passing this final inspection. The Department will ensure that all applicants meet the highest standards before they are allowed to open.

DPH Provides Continuous Oversight

Once an RMD receives its Certificate of Registration, it is subject to ongoing oversight by the Department of Public Health. The DPH inspection team will be a regular presence at all RMD sites to ensure ongoing compliance with the regulations and allow the program awareness of potential issues that may arise. RMD licenses will be subject to annual renewal by DPH.

Related Information

This information is provided by the Health Care Safety and Quality within the Department of Public Health.