Cultivation license award date set: Feb. 27 | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 1, 2017

Cultivation license award date set: Feb. 27

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 5:26 PM

click to enlarge PACKED IN: Waiting for the Marijuana Commission meeting to start in the Alcoholic Beverage Control conference room.
  • PACKED IN: Waiting for the Marijuana Commission meeting to start in the Alcoholic Beverage Control conference room.

The Medical Marijuana Commission will get "depersonalized" applications for cultivator licenses on Dec. 15, Department of Finance and Authority lawyer Joel DiPippa told the commission this afternoon at a jam-packed meeting, and, after some debate, the commission settled on a deadline of 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 to turn in the scored applications. Staff at the Alcohol Beverage Control hired for the commission will collate results and provide the names of the top five scorers, those who will be eligible for the five licenses, at a meeting Feb. 27.  Should there be a tie for fourth place, the commissioners will be asked to review and rescore the tied applications, independently.

There are 95 applicants for cultivation licenses. DiPippa suggested the commission score the applications by Feb. 1, but the board said the holidays would make that deadline too difficult.

After staff finishes depersonalizing cultivator applications — removing applicant names — they'll begin redacting applications for the public, removing Social Security numbers, addresses and bank information, DiPippa said. However, he told the board that the public's copies of the applications would differ from the commission's, in that they would include names. Commissioner Dr. Carlos Roman objected, saying public release of names to the media — DiPippa told the board that 80 individuals have made FOIA requests for the information — would compromise the anonymity of the applicants and possibly confer an advantage on some of the competitors.

DiPippa responded that he's looking into case law on the subject. After the meeting, however, he cited to media representatives a portion of the FOIA law that says the public may be denied information that may give advantages to competitors. So it appears the public will not know who has applied for a cultivator license until Feb. 27, which contradicts what the Times published this week in its Cannabiz column.

Also on Feb. 27, the board will discuss proposed regulations for medical marijuana transportation.

DiPippa said the staff will be working on depersonalizing the dispensary applications, of which there are 227, while the commissioners review the cultivator applications.

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