|Graphic: Reality Catcher|
Maine’s medical marijuana program took a big step towards safe access for patients Friday, with the announcement of three licensed, non-profit corporations to grow and sell marijuana.
Northeast Patients Group, a recently formed corporation with roots in California, was selected to establish four of the eight approved dispensaries. The nonprofit organization will establish facilities in Portland, Thomaston, the Augusta area and the Bangor area, reports Meg Haskell at Bangor Daily News.
Aroostook County will be served by Safe Alternatives for Fort Kent, and western Maine will be served by the Remedy Compassion Center.
With 27 separate applications to start one dispensary in each of Maine’s eight public health districts, the state approved only six. According to state officials, the criteria for approval included applicants’ experience and proposed plans for record keeping, inventory control, security and patient education.
No applicant was approved for the districts that serve York County and Washington and Hancock counties., said applications for these regions failed to meet the state’s dispensary standards.
The dispensary application process for these districts will be reopened, according to Cobb. “Those who were not selected can make changes to their plans and re-apply,” Cobb said.
The deadline to re-apply will be August 20, and details can be found on the DLRS website, Cobb said.
Cobb said she would be meeting with the newly licensed dispensaries’ chief executives to review their applications and to discuss next steps.
Cobb anticipates that it will take between two and four months for a dispensary to be open and ready to serve patients.