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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Maine Awards Pot Dispensary Licenses to Three Applicants


A medical marijuana provider with ties to the well-established Berkeley Patients Group in California has emerged as a major player in Maine's new marijuana dispensary system. The state Department of Health and Human Services awarded Northeast Patients Group licenses to operate dispensaries in four of the eight state-desigated districts from among more than two dozen applicants.

Catherine Cobb, Director of the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services at DHHS, says all of the applicants competed on a level playing field. "We had objective criteria, objective scoring weights, we had an unbiased committee of four people and we selected and scored the best applications."

The state used a scoring system that required applicants to win at least 70 points to be considered for licensure, and certain criteria had higher value. For instance, while demonstrating a plan for providing a reliable supply of marijuana could earn an applicant a maxium of 10 points, security and confidential record-keeping procedures at the dispensary were pegged at 20 points.

Cobb says patients in the system will have to be assured that their privacy is protected. And she says the security arrangements at the newly licensed businesses are impressive. "

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