The Utah Department of Health has chosen the locations of the state’s fourteen medical cannabis “pharmacies.” Ten applicants were awarded licenses out of a pool of over 150 applications from 60 different companies. Regulators considered the applicants’ experience with medical cannabis, behavior in other jurisdictions, the extent that the applicants could make medical cannabis affordable, and the applicants’ operation plan viability.
The licenses are divided into two groups. Eight locations may open after March 1, while the remaining six must wait until July 1 to open. The state was divided into four geographic regions to assure patient access, however, large parts of the state are left without a “pharmacy,” leaving the door open for possible delivery services at a later date.
“We feel like that was a good thing for the state of Utah that there was so much competition,” Richard Osborn, director of the Utah Department of Health’s Center for Medical Cannabis, told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We feel like we’ve got a good set of applicants that come to us with a lot of confidence in what they’re doing and a lot of knowledge and expertise.”
“The Utah Department of Health is committed to ensuring patients have safe and reliable access to medical cannabis and we are confident the companies selected are best prepared to meet the needs of Utah patients and provide the best value to Utah communities.” — Utah Department of Health official statement
Some applicants still must submit financial information to the state and pass background checks, as well as pay the state’s $50,000 license fee and, in some cases, get local approval for their pharmacy locations.
A list of successful applicants and their proposed locations can be found on the Utah Department of Health website.