The state received four applications Friday from those who hope to set up Vermont’s first medical marijuana dispensaries that could be open by the end of the year, giving those who rely on marijuana for medical uses a legal means of acquiring the drug.
Who the applicants are and where they want to open the dispensaries is unknown, however, as the state considers that confidential, said Francis “Paco” Aumand, director of the Vermont Division of Criminal Justice Services in the state Department of Public Safety.
Shayne Lynn of Burlingon is one of the applicants. He said, as he drove home from delivering his application in Waterbury late Friday afternoon, that he hopes to open a dispensary in Burlington, pending approval of permits from the city.
Whether or when information about all the applicants would become public was an evolving question Friday, a notion that was disquieting to local officials and legislators who were involved in passing the law allowing the state to have up to four dispensaries. The dispensaries would grow and sell marijuana to people with qualifying medical conditions.
State officials initially said this week that the state would not ever make any information about the dispensaries public, but after inquiries by the Burlington Free Press, then modified their response.
“This has evolved in the last two hours,” Aumand said late Friday afternoon.
A short time later, however, Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said the state would not approve a dispensary without officials in the community knowing about it.
“No place is going to get something they don’t want,” Flynn said.Those registered with the state to use medical marijuana for treatment of certain illnesses have been allowed to use the drug legally since 2004 in Vermont, but those who didn’t grow it themselves had no legal way of obtaining the drug that is otherwise illegal.