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Medical marijuana dispensary for Dickinson named

A medical marijuana dispensary for Dickinson has been selected by North Dakota Department of Health to continue forward with the registration process.

If approved, GrassRoots Cannabis, based in Deerfield, Illinois, would serve the 50-mile Dickinson region.

"With the application process for the dispensary region of Dickinson, we did have that open for a period of time," Jason Wahl, NDDOH Division of Medical Marijuana director, said. "All complete applications for the Dickinson region were reviewed by a panel and the highest scoring applicant in that region is moved forward in the registration process."

A specific location in Dickinson has not yet been identified.

The same company was also selected for dispensaries in Devils Lake, Minot and Jamestown.

Per law, GrassRoots must meet additional requirements before being granted a registration certification, Wahl explained.

"They need to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the city of Dickinson, which means they are going to have to do some remodeling work prior to us being able to register that dispensary," Wahl said. "They also have to make their $90,000 payment to receive their registration certificate, as well as some other items."

According to Dickinson City Planner Walter Hadley, GrassRoots will have to go through the city's special use permit process.

A public hearing will be held at a future Planning & Zoning Commission meeting, followed by approval from the City Commission.

"It is a two tier process," Hadley said. "The state reviews and approves the company and general location they have submitted. The city will review and approve a special use permit for the chosen site. To date, the city doesn't have any applications or official information that would lock the Dickinson dispensary to (a specific location)."

He added, "We have had a number of companies competing for a location here and we will wait to see who comes in the door with state approval and a SUP application."

The earliest GrassRoots would be on the Planning & Zoning agenda would be June, with a City Commission hearing in July, Hadley said.

With the eight state dispensary sites named, one has already received its certificate.

The Botanist opened in Fargo on March 1.

The selection process for dispensaries has gone well, Wahl said.

"We are very happy with the process we put in place, to have an application period, establish a panel to review complete applications and then provide their score sheets to us in order to identify who was the best applicant in their region," he said.

It is now up to GrassRoots to work with the city governments to open the dispensaries.

"That entity does need to get information to the City of Dickinson in order for them to get the permits they need to start their remodel or construction work, depending on what they're doing in that region," Wahl said.

The locations of all eight North Dakota dispensary sites will be made public.

"People need to know where to go to purchase products," Wahl said.

Wahl anticipates all dispensaries will be registered and operational by the end of 2019.

For more information, contact the North Dakota Department of Health at (701) 328-4925.