The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has received 14 applications to operate registered medical marijuana dispensaries with Worcester County as "the first county of preference."
The DPH said it received 181 applications total.
"Under Phase 1, dispensary applicants will be reviewed for, among other things, non-profit status and financial viability. Applicants must also report whether any member of their proposed organization has a felony drug conviction," the DPH website notes.
The DPH website also notes that "Applicants who meet the qualifications in Phase 1 will be eligible to proceed to Phase 2 this fall where a selection committee will conduct an in-depth review and select dispensaries through a competitive process. The committee will evaluate and score Phase 2 applications based on such factors as appropriateness of the site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients, while ensuring public safety."
"The voter-approved law allows DPH to register up to 35 non-profit Registered Marijuana Dispensaries across the state, with at least one but no more than five dispensaries per county.
"DPH anticipates that the Phase 1 review will be completed by mid September. At that time, the list of applicants who make it to Phase 2 will be made available to the public."