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State receives seven bids to operate first medical marijuana dispensary

State health officials say seven bidders are vying to open Delaware’s first medical marijuana dispensary later this year.

The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) notes that a panel is reviewing each of the seven bids and is expected to issue a recommendation by the end of the month.

After that, negotiations will begin between the two parties, with more information to be released after specific terms are finalized.

The Department of Public Health will oversee the pilot operation and determine whether the state will need more dispensaries in the future.

Gov. Jack Markell originally signed legislation legalizing medical marijuana in the state in 2011, which called for one dispensary in each county.

Markell backed away from the law shortly thereafter due to a federal memo saying the U.S. Justice Department would pursue legal action regardless of state law. That left some residents who received a state-issued card unable to legally buy the drug lingering in limbo.

He cautiously re-embraced it last August after the feds reversed course.