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State board approves 4 CBD licenses, defers another

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Print this page Michael O'Connor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Virginia’s Board of Pharmacy has given the green light to four companies to begin making and selling medical cannabis oils, while a Southwest Virginia operator is waiting to exhale.

At a Wednesday meeting in Henrico County, the Board of Pharmacy voted to approve four licenses for companies to make and sell medical cannabis oil in Virginia. The board deferred a vote on finalizing the license for Dharma for the Southwestern Virginia health service area.

Dharma has requested a change in its location within its health service area in southwestern Virginia. A decision on Dharma’s request and conditional application was deferred to the board’s Dec. 18 meeting because the 10-member board didn’t have a quorum.

The board didn’t have a quorum in part because Board Member Kristopher S. Ratliff of Marion recused himself from a vote leaving only four present members available. Ratliff said he recused himself because he had written a letter of support for Dharma’s initial application prior to his joining the Board of Pharmacy.

The board unanimously approved finalizing the licenses for the following companies: Chicago-based PharmaCann for the part of the state that includes Fredericksburg, Charlottesvile and the Shenandoah Valley; Maryland-based Green Leaf Medical for the Richmond and Southside areas; and New York-based Columbia Care for the Hampton Roads area.

In Oct., PharmaCann was bought by California-based MedMen, a publicly-traded company that Forbes magazine called the unicorn of cannabis retailers. The sale was not discussed at the meeting.

The board also finalized Dalitso LLC’s conditional approval for the Northern Virginia area, but denied the company’s request to change its site from Manassas to Gainesville in a 4-1 vote from the board.

Dalitso has its principal office in Alexandria, according to a public record. Greg Kennedy, a Dalitso co-owner, did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.

According to Caroline Juran, the Board of Pharmacy’s executive director, Dalitso said rain had caused delays in construction for its approved site and the board’s lengthy decision-making process on the applications was also delayed. The company felt it could open sooner if it changed locations, she said.

Dalitso was seeking to change from a site in Manassas to Gainesville, according to Board Chairman Rafael Saenz. The board did not make the applications to change venues available to the public.

Board member Cheryl H. Nelson of Richmond made the motion to deny Dalitso’s application to change the location for its medical cannabis oil operations. She said it didn’t seem fair to allow a company to make a change at this stage because of how rigorous the application process was.

“[It] might be considered unfair,” Nelson said.

Citizen member James L. Jenkins of Mechanicsville cast the lone dissenting vote against denying Dalitso’s change of location request. He said Dalitso indicated in its request that it would likely be open six months earlier if it could change venues.

“The sooner they’re up and running the better,” Jenkins said.




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