Delaware awards fourth medical marijuana business permit

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Citing increasing demand for medical marijuana, Delaware officials have awarded a fourth MMJ production and distribution license, surpassing the three permits mandated by the state’s 2011 law.

But the most recent – given to New Jersey-based Compassionate Care Research Institute (CCRI) – was awarded without the competitive bidding process the state used in choosing the first three licensees, the News Journal reported.

State law allows the Division of Public Health to award MMJ business licenses “to at least three of the highest-scoring applicants” in the previous bidding process, according to the newspaper.

CCRI applied for permits in two counties but lost out to other applicants, so the agency decided the company was the best-suited candidate for the fourth license.

The state’s third dispensary, which will be run by Columbia Care, is expected to open this fall, while CCRI’s dispensary won’t open until sometime in 2018, the News Journal reported. CCRI already holds marijuana licenses in Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Delaware’s other two dispensaries are run by First State Compassion Center.

A spokeswoman said the health agency has no plans to issue further permits, the News Journal reported.