Health Care

Medical marijuana license awarded for Bennington, St. Albans

BENNINGTON — PhytoScience Institute, LLC, has been conditionally approved for the state’s fifth medical marijuana dispensary license and plans to operate facilities in Bennington and St. Albans — both considered to be underserved areas.

PhytoScience Institute was one of seven applicants for a fifth marijuana dispensary registration certificate.

Act 65, signed by Gov. Phil Scott last summer, allows the state to issue a fifth medical pot license. The law also gives each of the four existing license holders an opportunity to establish a satellite operation in a different location.

The applications were reviewed by a panel, which made a recommendation to Tom Anderson, the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, who was responsible for the final decision.

There were seven applications, two of which were deemed incomplete and were rejected.

PhytoScience must obtain an active operating registration certificate and begin dispensing marijuana to registered patients within six months of approval, under rules adopted by the state Department of Public Safety, which oversees the program.

Another group that planned a facility in Bennington, Vermont Green Grow, was one of two license-seekers whose applications were rejected by the state after a determination the application was incomplete, an assessment principals in the group are disputing.

Applications were scored on the basis of: the overall health needs of registered patients; the convenience of the proposed location(s) for registered patients; business plan and facility information; and security.

PhytoScience Institute recorded the highest overall score, according to a press release from the state.

Information about the recently awarded dispensary certificate and new locations operated by previously approved dispensaries will be provided to registered patients and caregivers.

Act 65 also allows for a sixth permitted facility once the number of registered medical marijuana patients reaches 7,000. As of Aug. 24, there were 4,609 patients enrolled with the Vermont Marijuana Registry.

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