I have to say it’s taken a very long time to get this far, but the Charlotte’s Web law passed in 2014 gained momentum once again and this time it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon!
While there were 13 challenges against the awarded licenses, the five selected nurseries are still going to be expected to submit their request to begin cultivation by February 7th. The awarded nursery in the Southwest region, Alpha Foliage, has already submitted their request earlier this week.
It actually surprises me that they decided to move forward, regardless of the challenges which have been awarded hearing dates ranging from March to July. The challenges were separated among five judges who will do a comparative review of the nurseries which applied and determine whether or not the original winner was chosen fairly.
If any of their decisions overturns one previously made by a panel of three then the awards will likely be shifted to the new winners – which could (and would) likely cost the original nursery millions in losses; and that will likely rise new challenges for the judges to review.
In the end, it could end up taking years rather than months to finally sort all this out. It was that reasoning that led the Department of Health to determine a need to move forward with the schedule as is – and make adjustments down the road as needed.
Rob Bradly, Senate Regulated Industries Chairman says he is “interested in creating an alternative administrative procedural system to deal with challenges” in regards to the licenses which have already been awarded.
“This has gone on too long,” he said, blaming the losing applicants for dragging out the process.
While he is right, it has gone on for far too long, he cannot blame the losing applicants entirely. After all, they could have been distributing medical marijuana almost a year ago now if we hadn’t had all the other legal hold up’s and delays.
Now that we are so close to finally being able to offer relief to some – even if it is a very limited number of people – it is finally starting to feel like we’re getting somewhere.
With all the talk of expanding the Charlotte’s Web law and the United for Care initiative doing so well, those nurseries who lost out on a license the first time around will get another shot – and probably sooner than they’re thinking.
Hopefully, by this time next year, I’ll be writing to tell you that medical marijuana is available to anyone who truly needs it.