The selection committee will judge the applicants based on factors including “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,” according to the public health department’s website.
The state will announce which dispensaries have been approved early next year. Under the law passed by voters in 2012, up to 35 dispensaries will be approved. Essex County will have at least one, and perhaps as many as five.
Dispensaries will be allowed to grow marijuana in addition to providing it to patients with a prescription.
Statewide, only 100 of the 158 applicants who were cleared to apply for phase 2 actually did so.
Neil Dempsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.