The Washington DC Health Department has chosen 6 companies to cultivate and supply medical marijuana in the District. All selected growers are from the Northeast.
Health Department Director Mohammad N. Akhter explained to the press that, along with the task force, he reviewed and evaluated dozens of bidders before choosing the 6 applicants who will be allowed to grow medical marijuana legally. Factors considered in the selection included safety, security, and the ability to grow a quality product. They also considered the location of the centers, so that they would not all be grouped closely together in the same area.
In an interview, Akhter explained, “I have taken every single step that I could to make sure this is done in a safe environment in which we can have a quality product that can meet the needs of the patient in a way that the community is also satisfied. These are the the best people who can do the best job.”
The growing centers that have been selected are District Growers, Center City, Phyto Management, Holistic Remedies, Abatin Wellness Center, and Alternative Solutions.
This selection acts as the primary step for the establishment of a collective system in the District. City officials hope to have collectives approved for business by this summer.
Before the applicants can open and begin growing, they must obtain business licenses and building permits from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Depending on how long that process takes, the growing operations may be able to start within a month.
Washington DC’s medical marijuana law was approved in 2010. The DC Council voted to establish up to 10 cultivation centers which will supply medical marijuana to 5 distribution centers.