Cannabis business hopefuls seeking cultivation or manufacturing licenses can begin submitting applications on Dec. 15, and those seeking retail dispensary licenses can begin submitting applications on March 15, 2022, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced.
The CRC made the announcement at its public meeting on Nov. 10.
In a departure from the state’s handling of the medical cannabis license application processes, the CRC did not specify an end to either application window. Prior application rounds lasted approximately six weeks.
Applications will be scored on a pass or fail basis, and points per criteria will be awarded on an all or nothing basis.
“This non-competitive approach also is a significant (positive) change from the state’s medical licensing process, which resulted in numerous lawsuits and licensing delays because of application scoring challenges in the courts. As CRC Executive Director Jeff Brown previously advised, the CRC wants the marketplace – not the CRC or the courts – to determine who is successful in this industry,” noted Pashman Stein Walder Hayden partner Sean Mack in a notice his firm sent to clients and press on Nov. 11.
The CRC will accept questions through Nov. 19 ahead of its pre-application webinar slated for Nov. 30.
Upon receipt of applications, priority evaluation will be given to social equity applicants. Evaluation of diversely-owned business applicants will follow, then impact zone business applicants, then all other applicants.
Testing laboratory license applications also will be given high priority to make sure that labs are in place when cannabis is ready for testing.