Deadline For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries To Get Licensed Moved From December To Halloween

October 01, 2018 - 9:01 pm

(WWJ) -- Medical marijuana dispensaries operating without a license are now pressed by time to either secure a license or close their doors.

There are more than 200 dispensaries across the state operating with approval from their communities while they secure state licenses.

The state announced Monday that the deadline for licensure or closure had been moved up a full 45 days from Dec. 15 to Oct. 31.

“Originally there was a concern that the industry and the patients themselves would be significantly disadvantaged by not allowing temporary operations," Barton Morris of the Cannabis Legal Group told WWJ. "Because we all know that there was a system that was happening in the state, where dispensaries were operating, even though they weren’t licensed. (The state) just allowed to continue those operators to continue to serve patients, but at the same time transition them into the licensed model.”

The previous deadline of Dec. 15 was set by regulators two weeks ago after a Court of Claims judge overruled the state's plan to treat two different classes of dispensaries differently. The state had initially set a deadline of June 15, but didn't approve the first dispensary license until July 12, so the June deadline was extended to Sept. 15.

With that Sept. 15 deadline, the state was aiming to shut down nearly 100 dispensaries that hadn't turned in completed applications on that day, while allowing more than 100 other shops that had completed all steps of their application, including building plans and community approval, to continue operations until Dec. 15.

The Halloween deadline date will now be the statewide cutoff.

Morris says this move is "unprecedented."

“Now, I think what’s happened, is they’ve made a determination that they’re going to get a certain number licensed by Oct. 31, and they believe that that number is going to be enough to service the industry, which may or may not be true," Morris said. "It depends on how many are going to get licensed, but many believe it's not going to be enough."