All four proposed medical marijuana dispensaries that previously advanced through the city licensing process are now free to pursue building permits and other final approvals.
Of the four facilities — Herbal Alternatives at 1147 20th St. NW; Metropolitan Wellness Center at 409 Eighth St. SE; Takoma Wellness Center at 6925 Blair Rd. NW; and Center City Care at 1334 N. Capitol St. NW — three secured votes of approval from local advisory neighborhood commissions. (DCist had a fine rundown of the particular votes.)
Only the Center City location didn’t get its ANC’s nod, but city health director Mohammad N. Akhter chose to keep it eligible to sell medical marijuana anyway.
In a statement, Akhter said the continued progress, however slow, shows “the District’s commitment to provide patients who are suffering from very specific conditions that require unique solutions to help alleviate their pain.”
It still could be months before marijuana is for sale. For one, the six cultivation centers previously approved for registration haven’t started growing operations. Without their marijuana supply, dispensaries have nothing to sell.
According to a spokesman for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, which oversees permitting, none of the six have applied for “certificates of occupancy” at their chosen facilities — a final approval necessary to commence business. Those certificates require the personal approval of the city’s zoning administrator, said the spokesman, Helder Gil.