Department of Health delays compassion center decision
After confirming multiple times that the Health Department was on schedule to announce the winning medical marijuana dispensaries on Tuesday, officials are pushing back the date to next week.
Now, we’re due to hear about the compassion centers by March 15th. The Health Department says it needs extra time because interim director Michael Fine is still settling into the job and hasn’t been able to give the applicants his full attention.
Fine is in his first full week at HEALTH and, as the person ultimately responsible for the decision on qualified applicants, he requires additional time to thoroughly review all 18 applications. Additionally, discussions of and preparation for the budget have consumed much of Fine’s first week as Interim Director. The Medical Marijuana Program and the anticipated Compassion Center(s) will impact HEALTH’s budget, and those implications must be considered before a final decision is made.
A committee at the Health Department has been wading through the applications for the last few months, but the director has the final say on who wins.
Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of more delays. Last time around the decision dragged into the fall, long after the original deadline for a decision. Fine does say that the department is “firmly committed to making a decision by March 15th.” Let’s see what happens next Tuesday…