The DPH expects to make the final selection of dispensaries “shortly after the new year,” Kibbe said yesterday.
Dispensaries that make the state’s final cut in 2014 will still need to seek local approval from municipal boards, such as planning or zoning, before they could open.
Applicants will not be required to give an address of where they could open in the second selection round, Kibbe said, but they will need to demonstrate that they have local support and would comply with local bylaws and expectations.
Presumably, this means applicants would at least name the town where they are hoping to open.
“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,” the DPH wrote in this week’s press release.
Statewide, DPH received 181 applications for phase one in late August, 158 of which were deemed eligible to move forward to phase two.
Applicants had to pay a $1,500 fee to be considered in phase one; the application fee to be considered in phase two is $30,000.
“This is a very competitive process and we required applicants to meet high standards to advance,” DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said in the release. “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.”
Medical marijuana was approved by 63 percent of voters in the November election.