UTAH, Jan. 4, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Health has announced the companies which will receive 14 medical cannabis pharmacy licenses in the Beehive State.
The companies were selected from more than 130 applications submitted through a competitive bidding process. More than 60 different companies submitted applications.
The following businesses will be issued licenses:
• Beehive’s Own (two licenses), Salt Lake City and a location to be determined in in Box Elder County, Morgan County or Rich County
• Bloom Medicinals, Cedar City
• Columbia Care, Springville
• Curaleaf, Lindon
• Deseret Wellness (two licenses), Park City and Provo
• Dragonfly Wellness, Salt Lake City
• Justice Grown Utah (two licenses), Salt Lake City and St. George
• Pure UT, Vernal
• True North of Utah (two licenses), Logan and Ogden
• Wholesome Therapy, West Bountiful
“Eight of the locations may open up as early as March 2020 and six may open up as early as July 2020,” a Utah Department of Health (UDOH) statement said in a prepared statement.
“Some of the companies to whom the department intends to award licenses do not yet have ownership of their proposed locations and in some cases, their proposed locations may change. Their operating plans are pending department approval and their owners must still pass criminal background checks. The UDOH will make announcements regarding when each location may open at a later date.
“License applications were evaluated and scored by an evaluation committee based on criteria including experience in the medical cannabis or other highly regulated industries, disciplinary action or investigation in other jurisdictions, an operating plan that will best ensure the safety and security of cardholders and the community, the extent to which an applicant can reduce the cost of medical cannabis, connections to the local community, and a strategic plan that has a high likelihood of success.
“The evaluation committee spent hundreds of hours evaluating applications from companies seeking a limited number of licenses. It was a highly competitive process and some qualified applicants will be left disappointed, but that is the nature of a highly competitive process,” said Richard Oborn, Director of the Center for Medical Cannabis at the UDOH, in a prepared statement.
“The Utah Department of Health is committed to ensuring patients have safe and reliable access to medical cannabis and we are confident the companies selected are best prepared to meet the needs of Utah patients and provide the best value to Utah communities.”
Of the 10 companies to whom the UDOH intends to award medical cannabis pharmacy licenses:
• Seven are owned entirely or in part by Utah residents: Beehive’s Own, Columbia Care, Deseret Wellness, Dragonfly Wellness, Justice Grown Utah, True North of Utah, and Wholesome Therapy.
• Three hold cannabis cultivation facility licenses issued by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food: Dragonfly Wellness, True North of Utah, and Wholesome Therapy.
Licenses were divided among four geographic regions to ensure statewide access to medical cannabis for patients. No applicant was permitted to be licensed to operate more than two medical cannabis pharmacies.
Medical cannabis pharmacy licensees will pay an annual fee of $50,000-$69,500 depending upon the type of license they received and the physical location of the pharmacy.
For more information on Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program, click here.