Columbia Care delays its MMJ dispensary in Delaware

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Delaware’s oft-delayed medical marijuana program is experiencing another holdup.

Columbia Care, a multistate MMJ company headquartered in New York, has postponed by at least six months the opening of its facility in The First State.

Columbia Care’s facility was to be the third operating dispensary in Delaware, The News Journal reported.

Because of zoning, permitting and construction delays, however, Columbia Care now isn’t expected to begin sales in Delaware until spring 2018, a spokeswoman for the state’s health and social services department told the newspaper.

Besides its Delaware business, Columbia Care has operations in California, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC and Puerto Rico.

The MMJ program in Delaware has been beset by delays since its inception, according to The News Journal:

  • The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act was enacted in 2011, but its implementation was hampered for several years by the governor.
  • The state finally awarded its first MMJ license in 2014, to First State Compassion Center, but the launch was delayed a year because of legal and construction hurdles.
  • First State was then granted a second license in 2016, but more delays prevented that dispensary from opening until May 2017.

Besides the licenses belonging to First State Compassion Center’s two operating dispensaries and Columbia Care’s stalled business, a fourth permit was granted in August to New Jersey-based Compassionate Care Research Institute.

The dispensary plans to open next spring, according to The News Journal.