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Permit pending for Dharma Pharmaceuticals' to produce cannabidiol oil

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A permit application is now pending in Virginia for Dharma Pharmaceuticals. The company applied for a license to produce cannabidiol oil for medical use at the site of the vacant Bristol Mall.

"The state is going to approve five licenses from across Virginia. One from each region, and Southwest Virginia is one of the regions," said Paul Conco, the chair of the city's Industrial Development Authority.

At this point, at least one other competitor for the permit has emerged in Russell County.

The IDA is told that if Dharma doesn't get chosen for the permit, the company would need to reevaluate plans in Bristol.

"I think if Dharma doesn't get the license, it would then have to hope the state opens up additional licenses in years to come," said city manager Randy Eads.

The IDA cites Dharma as a great employment opportunity for the city, along with several other new commercial developments.

"With the new hotels, the Cameo Theater, the Hobby Lobby getting ready to open, Popeyes, McAllisters, the new car wash, the new Pizza Hut-- there's just a lot going on," said Conco.

The state Pharmacy Board is expected to issue the conditional permits by late august. Those selected will have a year to construct their operations.

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