Dispensary Facility Questions & Answers for Applicants
FAQs for 2015 RFA:
Q. NEW The RFA asks for 1 original and 4 copies. What is the difference between an original document and the 4 copies?
A. Original Signatures are needed on the original documents.
Q. NEW Do I have to currently reside in CT to open a Medical Marijuana dispensary facility?
Q. NEW What is meant by “If the applicant was formed within the year preceding this application, provide certified financial statements”?
A. Applicants are required to provide certified financial statements for the period of time the applicant has been in existence and any pro forma financials used for business planning purposes.
Q. NEW How do certified financial statements differ from audited financial statements"?
A. For the purposes of this application, the terms are synonymous.
Q. NEW Can a property owner lease the same property to three different companies for the same lease term and use?
A. Applicants vying for the same business location would not be disqualified so long as each applicant provides evidence that it has a right to occupy such location at the time of the application. Only one applicant, however, would be awarded a license.
Q. NEW Does the Department have any state mandates on security specifications for a dispensary facility?
A. Yes. The security requirements for dispensary facilities are set forth in the regulations and all such security requirements must be met.
Q. How many medical marijuana dispensary RFAs have been submitted for Guilford, CT?
A. Once all RFAs are submitted, the Department will disclose that information to the public.
Q. Does a pharmacist have to be licensed as a dispensary before the submission of the application?
Q. Are you were awarding any licenses in Hartford, CT?
A. The preferred locations in the RFA are Fairfield and New Haven County and having a site capable of serving one of these preferred locations is among the evaluation criteria. Dispensary facility applications, however, will be judged on a competitive basis with regard to how well the entirety of the application meets the full range of the evaluation criteria.
Q. How many applicants applied for the initial dispensary licenses in 2013?
Q. What are the requirements for an air treatment system that can be used in a dispensary facility to reduce off-site odors?
A. There are no requirements with regard to the use of an air treatment system. Applicants, however, will be scored based on their description of the air treatment or other system that will be installed to reduce off-site odors.
Q. Is there any particular format or time frame that is required for the pro forma financials?
A. No. Dispensary facility applicants are required to provide any pro forma financials used for business planning purposes.
Q. If an LLC has been set up strictly for the purpose of running the facility (but has not had any activity), is an audited financial still required?
Q. In Section 21a-408-13 of the Medical Marijuana regulations, could you clarify what five dispensaries mean in the following paragraph “Each dispensary facility may employ no more than five dispensaries at a time without prior approval from the commissioner, one of whom shall be designated as the dispensary facility manager”?
A. A dispensary is an individual licensed in Connecticut as a pharmacist. Therefore, the paragraph means that there can be no more than five licensed pharmacists employed by the dispensary facility.
Q.Is zoning approval required for this round of applications? Is it suffice to advise where we are in the zoning application process and expected approval timeframe?
A. An applicant may submit an application, pending zoning approval, on or before the September 18, 2015 submission deadline. If zoning approval is received after the submission deadline, that information should be immediately provided to the Commissioner in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the RFA. Such subsequent information will be considered, or not considered, as part of the evaluation process the same as all other information that is submitted subsequent to the submission deadline in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.
Q. Is it a necessity for me to have an exact location in order to submit an application?
A. Yes. It is not necessary, however, to own the property at the time of applying for a dispensary facility license. You must, however, provide documents evidencing a right to occupy the proposed location in the event a license is awarded.
Q. Is it possible to have a dispensary in an already operating place of business such as a pharmacy?
A. State law and regulations do not prohibit a dispensary facility from operating in a building that is owned or leased by a pharmacy, or from being located within or adjacent to a pharmacy, so long as the security and other requirements of the regulations and the RFA are met with regard to the location. However, there may be federal ramifications and DCP cannot speak to the federal consequences for a pharmacy that chooses to operate as a dispensary facility. For further information on possible federal implications please contact the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Q. May a dispensary facility be located within 1000 feet of a school, church, etc.?
A. Yes, the regulations do not prohibit a dispensary facility from being located within 1000 feet of a school, church or similar organization. The regulations do, however, provide that DCP will consider "whether the proximity of the proposed dispensary facility will have a detrimental effect upon any place used primarily for religious worship, public or private school, convent, charitable institution, whether supported by private or public funds, hospital or veterans' home or any camp or military establishment.” See Section 21a-408-14(c )(2)( C). For this reason, the RFA requires that all applicants provide the location of schools, churches, etc. within 1000 feet of the proposed dispensary facility.
Q. If a town’s regulation state that a dispensary facility can be within 300 feet of a school, church, etc. and the state regulations say it cannot be within 1000 feet, which policy do we follow?
A. The Regulations do not impose a 1000 foot restriction. Moreover, Sec. 21a-408-15(7) of the Regulations requires, “that all applicable state and local building, fire and zoning requirements and local ordinances will be met."
Q. Is there any established timeframe for the DCP to grade and award the 3 dispensary facility licenses so that applicants can have a rough idea of when they should hear back regarding approval/denial after application submission?
A. There is no established timeframe. Depending on the number of applicants, we expect the evaluation process to take 3 to 4 months.
Q. Please clarify if the Department would like to see a complete business plan for the proposed facility that includes additional sections beyond the items listed in RFA Section C items 1-8 or if the business plan should be comprised only of the items listed in the RFA Sections C items 1-8.
A. You must provide the Department with the information required in Section C,- 1 – 8, as stated. However, if you wish to provide any additional items not specifically requested in the RFA, please feel free to include them as supplemental information to your application.
Q. Please clarify if the Department would like to see a complete marketing plan for the proposed facility that includes additional sections beyond the items listed in RFA Section D or if the business plan should be comprised only of the items listed in the RFA Sections D.
A. Again, you must provide the Department with the information required, which is your “Proposed Marketing Plan.”Your proposed marketing plan must be complete and include all aspects of your plan.
Q. Should Walk-in Clinics and Urgent Care Centers that are affiliated with hospitals be taken into consideration when determining the 1000 foot restriction? What about learning centers such as Kumon and Sylvan ?
A. As part of your application, you must provide “A map that identifies all places used primarily for religious worship, public or private school, convent, charitable institution, whether supported by private or public funds, hospital or veterans’ home or any camp or military establishment that are within 1000 feet of the proposed dispensary facility location.”
With regard to walk-in clinics and urgent care centers, if they are not a “hospital,” you do not need to identify them on the map. With regard to Kumon and Sylvan, if they are a public or private school such that education takes place on the premises, you should include their locations on the map.You are free to identify by name any locations you wish to on the map, beyond those specifically required.
Q. Are there any regulations against a producer opening a dispensary within the same facility? Consideration to security guidelines within the regulations given.
A. No, so long as the security and other requirements of the regulations and the RFA are met with regard to each location and business. In addition, any financial arrangements between an affiliated producer and dispensary facility cannot circumvent the requirements of the regulations, particularly Section 21a-408-52, that prohibit a producer from discriminating in their dealings with dispensary facilities.
Q. I am interested in opening a dispensary facility and would like to sit with someone who is well versed on this subject. Is there anyone I can speak to in regards to this matter?
A. In order to maintain a fair process, all questions about the RFA or RFA process must be forwarded to DCP by email only at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Medical Marijuana RFA Question.” Questions and answers of a substantive nature will be posted on the DCP website at www.ct.gov/dcp/mmp so that all applicants will have access to the same information.
Q: Are the owners/landlords of dispensary facilities in danger of retribution from the Federal Government?
A: DCP will enforce the Connecticut medical marijuana regulations that are in place at the state level to assure the rigorous requirements of the program are implemented, not just on paper, but in actual practice. Beyond that, DCP cannot influence federal decisions. The Department of Justice, however, has issued guidance regarding their marijuana enforcement policy, which may be of interest. That guidance can be found at: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-announces-update-marijuana-enforcement-policy .
Q: Is it permissible for members of an existing CT dispensary facility to apply for, and be awarded, one or more of the three new dispensary facility licenses?
A: Yes; existing members of a CT dispensary facility may apply for an additional license. The Departments evaluation of any such application will include, among other things, the applicant’s compliance and fulfillment of the terms of its prior license. In addition, as set forth in the RFA, diversity of ownership serving the preferred geographic locations will be a relevant consideration in the Departments selection of a licensee.
Q: Is it legal to open a business to only transport medical marijuana from a dispensary facility to a patient?
A: Not under the current law and regulations.
Q: Is there any chance of getting a list of certified patient counts by city in New Haven and Fairfield county in order to identify areas of largest need?
A: The Department has posted the latest number of registered patient and breakdown by county on the MMP website (www.ct.gov/dcp/mmp). No other reports are available.
Q: I was interested in applying to open one of the new dispensaries in Connecticut and was wondering when the deadline for the application is?
A: As stated on our website, for an application to be considered, a complete response to this RFA and the non-refundable application fee must be hand-delivered to DCP’s offices on or before 3:00 pm on Friday, September 18, 2015.