Talk show host Montel Williams and 5 others have been chosen by the D.C. Department of Health as the winning bidders to operate medical marijuana cultivation centers, according to the Washington Post. Williams, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1999, has become an advocate for safe access to medical marijuana, according to DCMarijuanaLaw.

All six cultivation centers will be located in Northeast.

Montel Williams’ planned facility, the Abatin Wellness Center, will be located in the 2100 block of Queens Chapel Road.

According to the Post, the other winning bidders are:

  • Montana Apothecary d/b/a Alternative Solutions, in the 2100 block of 24th Place NE
  • District Growers, in the 2400 block of Evarts Street NE
  • Holistic Remedies, in 1800 block of Fenwick Street NE
  • Phyto Management, in the 3700 block of Benning Road NE
  • Venture Forth d/b/a Center City, in the 2200 block of Channing Street NE

Mohammad Akhter, D.C.’s Director of Health, said he chose these companies because they had the ability to grow “quality” weed in a secure environment. D.C. regulations require cultivation centers to have high-tech electronic monitoring, 24-hour security, and burglar-proof storage safes.

The winner bidders are not expected to open shop right away.  They still need building permits and final health department approval, not expected until June at the earliest.

The winners better have guts too. Sale or possession of marijuana is still a federal criminal offense. No matter what D.C. law says, the feds can still arrest and prosecute anyone found selling or possessing pot – even with a doctor’s recommendation, even in a facility licensed by the D.C. Department of Health.

President Obama has ordered the DEA to go after state licensed medical marijuana facilities in California and Colorado, and the drug warriors have been only too happy to oblige. What’s easier than busting someone with a business license and a storefront?

Will the federal DEA and Just-Us Department allow these medical marijuana cultivation centers to open? Will DC succeed where California and other states have failed?

Stay tuned.

Categories: Marijuana Laws, Medical marijuana

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