Follow-up file: Stern still fighting Iowa for CBD dispensary license

A Seattle-based company is preparing to operate a medical cannabidiol dispensary in Davenport while a Quad-City businessman continues to battle the state for a stake in the market.

Matt Stern of Nature’s Treatment of Iowa, or NTI, believes the Iowa Department of Public Health last month wrongfully rejected his firm’s application to run one of the state’s five dispensaries. Health department officials say NTI failed to show in its application evidence it had begun the registration process with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office by March 8, the deadline for dispensary applications. The health department tossed out NTI’s application — before scoring it and the other 20 dispensary applications — during the technical review stage.

Both parties and their attorneys presented their cases last Thursday during a 3½-hour telephone hearing with Administrative Law Judge Kathleen O’Neill of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. If she rules that NTI’s application was improperly rejected, the health department’s team of reviewers will need to score the application.

Checking for evidence

Stern, of Rock Island, testified he delivered his application materials shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday, March 8, and remained in Des Moines most of the afternoon in case any issues arose. 

Sarah Reisetter, the deputy health director, testified she completed the technical review of NTI’s application between 4-5 p.m. that day. NTI did not include in its application a file-stamped copy of its certificate of organization, which would have served as sufficient evidence it had begun the registration process. “They failed to follow the basic instructions of the RFP (request for proposal),” she said. 

When Reisetter noticed a lack of evidence that verified NTI’s registration, she contacted a former colleague in the Secretary of State’s office to “determine whether those documents

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