For Immediate Release - September 23, 2013

DPH Announces 158 Registered Marijuana Dispensary Applicants Eligible to Advance to Phase 2 Selection Process

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health today announced that the first phase of review of applications for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries has been completed, with 158 applicants eligible to move on to Phase 2 of the competitive selection process.

The Department received 181 Phase 1 applications on August 22, 2013, which were reviewed for non-profit status, financial viability and compliance with other application requirements.

“This is a very competitive process and we required applicants to meet high standards to advance,” said DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, R.N. “We are fortunate that Massachusetts has a large field of serious applicants, who are capable of making a significant investment to benefit qualified patients and safeguard communities. While no decision to deny an applicant was taken lightly, we wanted to ensure that those who advance could demonstrate the ability to operate a successful non-profit Registered Marijuana Dispensary.”

Twenty-two applicants did not meet the criteria to proceed to Phase 2 and one applicant withdrew from the process. Applications were denied for a wide variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, failing to incorporate as a non-profit or a lack of demonstrated financial viability.

The 158 applicants who met the Phase 2 criteria have been invited to apply for the second and final phase of the review process. An informational meeting for Phase 2 applicants will be held on Thursday, October 10, at 1 PM at the Holiday Inn, 30 Washington Street in Somerville. At the meeting, DPH officials will address questions on the application process.

Once Phase 2 applications are in, a selection committee will evaluate and score them based on such factors as ability to meet the health needs of registered patients, appropriateness of the site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and ensuring public safety. More information about the selection committee and Phase 2 applications will be available at a later date.

The voter-approved law allows DPH to register up to 35 non-profit Registered Marijuana Dispensaries across the state in the first year, with at least one, but no more than five dispensaries per county.

Phase 2 applicants will be asked to demonstrate local support during the Department’s review process, and must show that they can comply with all municipal rules, regulations, ordinances and bylaws. The Department is also developing a database that will track patient and physician registrations that will be available to law enforcement.

Since the law took effect January 1, 2013, the Department has received significant public involvement through listening sessions and public hearings. DPH enacted regulations that have been called a model for other states to follow, and the Department has advanced the competitive dispensary application process on an aggressive timeline to ensure patient access.

Additional Information

View the list of Phase 1 applicants, including those eligible to apply to Phase 2:

# # #