Iowa Regulators Say Licensing New Dispensaries Will Take ‘A Year or More’

After two of the state’s five dispensaries recently shuttered without warning, Iowa regulators now say it will take a year or more to license new businesses in their place.

Full story after the jump.

The Iowa dispensaries that shut down without notice last week are closed for good and state regulators anticipate it will take a year or more to get two more online to replace them, Iowa Public Radio reports.

Owen Parker, manager of the Office of Medical CBD for the Iowa Department of Public Health, told IPR that there are no management agreements in the state that allow license transfers and that officials would start from “scratch” to issue new licenses. He said the process would begin soon.

“And then we will award the license to somebody which then is when they would move forward with their buildout. So from beginning to end you can’t really put an exact timetable on it.  It’s easy to say a year or more in all reality.” – Parker to IPR

According to the report, Have A Heart Compassionate Care, the operator of the shuttered dispensaries in Council Bluffs and Davenport, ignored the rules of its contract which required the company to give six months’ notice in the event of closure. The two dispensaries represented 40 percent of the state’s total.

MedPharm Iowa – the company that operates the only cultivation site in the state and other dispensaries – had tried to buy the two Have a Heart dispensaries last year but was rebuffed by the Iowa Department of Health, the Quad City Times reports. Lucas Nelson, general manager of MedPharm, indicated the company would “likely” apply for the vacant licenses.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc., who through a subsidiary provided support services to Have a Heart, told the Times that the company elected to cease its operations after determining the venture was no longer economically feasible. Harvest Health said their subsidiary is terminating its support services agreement with the company following the closures.

Iowa patients now have only three medical cannabis dispensaries operating throughout the state.

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