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Several proposed medical marijuana dispensaries are now cleared by the D.C. Health Department to receive final approval in order to begin operating, according to the Washington Post.
The four dispensaries had previously advanced through other aspects of the District's approval process. They are now eligible to apply for business licenses, building permits and certificates of occupancy. Once those steps and other regulatory requirements are met, they will receive their registrations.
It's still not clear when medical marijuana will become available in the nation's capital, because the six cultivation centers approved for registration haven't begun growing the plant, as the Post's Mike DeBonis notes. The District does have its own marijuana growing supply store already, however; weGrow hydroponics supply store opened in the District in March.
The D.C. Council legalized medical marijuana in 2010, and advocates have complained of the slow implentation of the program. D.C. Council member David Catania, in a statement, said Tuesday's action by the health department is "another milestone on the path to making medical marijuana available" for those who need it.