The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs announced the decision Tuesday, and hours later a state board dropped a proposal to potentially force the dispensaries to shut down later this week. The department says it has sole authority to promulgate rules and emergency rules to implement, administer and enforce a new state law.
It says giving dispensaries, which are operating under a legal cloud, three months to close allows them time to wind down and patients time to connect with caregivers. The state hopes to issue licenses sometime in the first quarter of next year.
One board member is continuing to express misgivings, saying that the shops are illegal and should be closed quickly.