DES MOINES, Iowa — By law on December 1 medical marijuana must be available for the public to use, but the next step in the process is to decide where Iowan’s will be able to get it.
“The law requires us to make licensing decision by April 1st, so we will be working quickly to get that done in the next several weeks” said Sarah Reisetter, Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Thursday was the deadline for prospective companies to apply to become one of the state’s dispensaries. With only five licenses available, and 21 applicants, the Iowa Department of Public Health says the selection process will be strict.
“We put out a request for proposals and in that we asked them to describe a number of things for us, for example, how will they operate their dispensary? how will they train their staff? what will their security procedures look like?” said Reisetter.
The Department of Public Health says though they can issue five licenses, they don’t have to; meaning if only three applicants meet their requirements there will only be three dispensaries in the state.
“Once the license is awarded then the responsibility will be on the dispensary to make sure they’re up and running and provide product by December 1 of this year” said Reistter.
By law the Iowa Department of Public Health can’t release who the potential dispensaries are, but do say where most of them have applied.
“One thing that we have noticed is that the applications came in for our larger population centers throughout the state which is something that we would have anticipated” said Reisetter.
As for who will be creating the product, that sole distinction goes to MedPharm Iowa, a Des Moines-based company stated by the president and CEO of Kemin Industries.