Q: When will we know about new dispensaries? Three-hour drives are impossible for sick people. (Ellen D.M.)
A: It'll take a while, Ellen.
The Department of Health just issued its request for applications for new medical marijuana dispensaries, cultivators or manufacturers. Applications are due by Aug. 16, but the DOH hasn't put a timeline on when it expects to make a decision.
Last year, it took the department over three months to review the 146 dispensary applications it received. And that was for six new dispensaries — a drop in the bucket compared with the 53 licenses up for grabs this time around.
It's also important to note that those six new dispensaries were supposed to be open by now. Instead, they've been tied up in court, the subject of lawsuits filed by losing applicants alleging that the process wasn't fair.