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Vermont: First Two Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open; Third One Planned


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana patients in Vermont, for the first time, can buy cannabis without breaking the law.

State-licensed medicinal cannabis facility Champlain Valley Dispensary officially opened for business in Burlington on Monday, just a few days after Vermont Patients Alliance opened in Montpelier, reports Sam Hemingway at the Burlington Free Press.

Both dispensaries are open three days a week. A third shop is planned for Brandon. The medical marijuana outlets arrive two years after the Vermont Legislature passed a law allowing their existence, and nine months after the two businesses were licensed by the state.

Proprietor Shane Lynn of Champlain Valley Dispensary said he'd hoped to open sooner, but hurdles including a requirement that he and his employees undergo FBI background checks took longer than expected.

"The state asked the FBI to do a background check, but the FBI couldn't do one for some reason," Lynn said. "They needed a code for it. So that took three or four weeks to determine what code to use. There were a bunch of unknowns for both the state and us."

Each dispensary is required to grow its own marijuana in a secure environment. Patients need proof from the state that they are authorized to buy cannabis, then they make an appointment with the dispensary before showing up, or they won't be allowed inside.

Massachusetts: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries May Open This Summer

Illustration: The Daily ChronicBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana patients in Massachusetts could have safe access through dispensaries by this summer. State public health officials plan to approve final regulations for the shops this spring.

Draft regulations will be issued March 29 by the Department of Public Health, reports Josh Stilts at the The Berkshire Eagle. If approved by the Public Health Council, which reviews all health policies in the state, the rules could go into effect May 24.

Massachusetts cities are not allowed to completely ban local medical marijuana dispensaries, according to a recent ruling by Attorney General Martha M. Coakley. They can, however, regulate and/or delay them through zoning and other measures.

The attorney general's ruling, prompted by a dispensary ban enacted last fall by the town of Wakefield, says that local bans would conflict with the intent of the state's medical marijuana law, approved by 63 percent of state voters in November. Wakefield's dispensary ban came just one week after medical marijuana was legalized.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had written Coakley last month, urging her to rule against Wakefield's bylaw which banned dispensaries.

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