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Posted at 06:23 PM ET, 04/12/2012

Four medical marijuana shops move toward approval


Final decisions on dispensary approvals are expected in late June. (Alex Wong - Getty Images)
The District’s health department announced Thursday that four applicants to run marijuana dispensaries have been advanced to the next stage of the approval process.

They are ready to locate in various commercial corridors across the city.

One, Herbal Alternatives, is proposing to locate downtown, in the 1100 block of 20th Street NW. Metropolitan Wellness Center is looking at the Barracks Row strip on Capitol Hill. Takoma Wellness Center is prepared to set up in its namesake neighborhood on the 6900 block of Blair Road NW. And Center City Care is proposing to occupy a North Capitol Street storefront just north of New York Avenue.

Seventeen applications were accepted by last year’s filing deadline. The four named today scored enough points in the course of a panel review to seek approval from their respective advisory neighborhood commissions.

Najma Roberts, a health department spokeswoman, said the other applicants will not have an opportunity during this round of licensing to improve their applications. “This list is pretty final,” she said.

The move to advance the dispensary licensing comes two weeks after officials gave the green light to six medical marijuana cultivation centers. Those businesses now are pursuing business licenses and other permits in order to get final approval to open and operate.

Only Center City Care appears to have won the right to both register as a cultivation center and also move ahead in the dispensary process.

ANCs have about a month to weigh in, and health department officials expect to then complete the dispensary application process in late June. Depending on how quickly winning applicants will then be able to get permits, marijuana could be available to qualified patients within weeks after that.

Read more at Roll Call and DCist.

By  |  06:23 PM ET, 04/12/2012

 
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