Montel Williams-Backed Group Among 6 Selected to Cultivate Cannabis in Washington DC

Washington DC health officials have chosen six groups that will be able to grow medical marijuana this year, including one co-founded by former talk show host Montel Williams. The development could signal that DC is finally ready to move forward with its medical cannabis program after a prolonged period of delays and foot-dragging.

According to The Washington Post, which obtained the list in advance of an announcement today by the city’s Health Department, the finalists will all set up shop in the Northeast part of the District, primarily in Langdon:

– Abatin Wellness Center (co-founded by Williams) has targeted a site on Queens Chapel Road in Langdon.

– Alternative Solutions is eyeing 24th Place NE in Langdon

– District Growers has proposed an operation on Evarts Street NE in Langdon

– Holistic Remedies is planning for a site on Fenwick Street NE in Ivy City

– Phyto Management is targeting Benning Road NE in Benning

– Center City has proposed an operation on Channing Street NE in Langdon.

Some medical cannabis supporters expressed mild surprise that the Health Department actually chose the finalists, as the city has missed numerous deadlines in the past.

Officials whittled down an initial list consisting of dozens of applicants to the final six using a variety of criteria, including location and chances of success based on the business plan.

The finalists can now apply for the necessary business permits and licenses to obtain the final go-ahead from the city to start growing plants. That process could take as little as a few weeks, meaning cultivation centers could be growing marijuana by May. Each operation will be authorized to grow up to 95 plants at any one time.

The city then expects to approve five MMJ dispensaries by early June.