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CONCORD, NH – In selecting the nonprofit organizations to grow and dispense medical marijuana, the state followed the proper process despite recent criticism, according to an email yesterday from Gov. Maggie Hassan’s spokesman William Hinkle.
Hinkle was responding to a request four days prior for an interview with Gov. Hassan about selection process complaints claiming there were scoring errors and an unclear definition for what constitutes local support. There was also concern that economic development wasn’t considered a factor.
“The Department of Health and Human Services followed the department’s established contract procurement process, using an impartial and numerically-scored competitive bidding process designed to ensure fairness and consistency, which also includes an appeals process for applicants,” Hinkle wrote.
“Governor Hassan signed bipartisan medical marijuana legislation because she believes that it is the compassionate and right policy for the state of New Hampshire.
“As the state has worked to implement the infrastructure for this program from the ground-up, it has been critical to take the time to do this in the right way while following all state laws and regulations,” Hinkle wrote.
Executive Council Joseph Kenney, who had previously criticized the selection process, said it is still unclear what that appeals process is and how it works. Kenney had arranged a meeting with the governor’s staff, himself, state Sen. Jeff Woodburn, and Michael Stirling, whose White Mountain Treatment Center’s application was not successful in obtaining a permit.
Hassan’s staff hasn’t responded to Kenney about that meeting.
“The governor’s office needs to articulate what that appeals process is and how applicants can appeal a decision,” Kenney said.
Kenney said he believed Stirling, who has appealed, has some serious concerns that need to be addressed.
“The applicant needs to understand the expectations of the process,” Kenney said.
Besides reviewing problems he perceives with the scoring of applications, Kenney said the selection process needs to be reviewed so in the future it includes taking into consideration economic development.
“The criteria also need to address what local support means,” Kenney said.
The three selected businesses will operate three dispensaries and four grow sites. The nonprofits that were selected are Temescal Wellness, Inc., Prime Alternative Treatment, and Sanctuary ATC.