On Jan. 31, 2014, the Department of Public Health selected 20 of 100 applicants to receive a provisional license for a registered marijuana dispensary). Because the DPH established a qualifying score, no applicant was selected in Dukes and three other counties (Berkshire, Franklin and Nantucket). We, Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard, scored the highest among the Dukes County applicants, and highest among the four counties.

However, there were six applicants who received a qualifying score and were not selected in the county they applied. This was due to either geography or another applicant receiving a higher score. These six applicants have been invited to seek alternate locations in the four counties. Among this group of applicants are operators of dispensaries in Colorado and Arizona.

As part of the application process we exercised our option to have our application reviewed and met with the DPH on Feb. 14. We reviewed each question where we did not score maximum points and provided information that appeared to have been overlooked in the initial evaluation. It was pointed out that we lacked a letter of support or nonopposition from the town in which we proposed our dispensary. This would have added several points to our score.

Subsequently, we were advised by a DPH official that gaining a letter of support or nonopposition would do no harm in the review. Returning to the selectmen to request the letter, we pointed out that not issuing such a letter would assure that an off-Island applicant would be awarded the license, and there would be a significant reduction in job creation. These off-Island applicants have cultivation sites elsewhere and would operate a dispensary only. Our staffing projections showed a difference at the end of the third year of operation of between five full-time employees for an off-Island operator and almost 14 for Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard. The selectmen agreed and issued a letter of nonopposition which was forwarded to the DPH. The letter stated that the selectmen believe that “local management of an RMD is important to the integrity and overall success of the operation.”

On Friday, March 21, we received a letter from the DPH that the review process is moving forward.

We will continue our efforts to keep the RMD local. We hope that all others involved in this process will do the same.

Geoff Rose
West Tisbury