On day one, state gets 68 marijuana applications

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In its first day accepting materials, the state’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office received 68 applications for commercial cannabis licenses.

The state's Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office is asking applicants to review a video ahead of starting permit forms online.
The state’s Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office is asking applicants to review a video ahead of starting permit forms online.

In a release sent out Thursday, the office said the roll out of its new online application system has gone smoothly, for the most part. However, reports of a wide-spread snag led AMCO to issue a cautionary note on its application page. “Please be certain you have entered all information relating to all human beings with an interest in the license application before you click submit,” read the advisory.

Before starting the process, potential applicants are being asked to watch a six-minute video explaining the rolling permit review process.

“This is not a race,” says AMCO Director Cynthia Franklin. “There’s no window where we’re taking applications. So what you need to be thinking about as a potential appliacant is, ‘when am I gonna be ready?’ Ok, if you’re not gonna be ready within 90 days of the date you begin your application you should ask yourself why you’re starting it now.”

90 days is the allotted time regulators have to issue a decision on applications.

Franklin details a revised timeline and staggered review process for handling permits. The office is establishing certifications for employees handling cannabis at an April meeting, and announced they will prioritize issuing cultivation licenses before dealing with retail shops.

“And that is because a retail store and a product manufacturing facility cannot comply with the regulations until we have some legally grown crops of marijuana for them to produce or sell,” Franklin said.

She also cautions that since the licenses are premise-based, applicants need to know the location for any potential businesses before they submit materials.

Public notices are expected to start appearing this week in communities where licenses are being requested.

Under the new timeline, the state anticipates issuing cultivation licenses in June, with retail shop approvals likely to begin in September.