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Massachusetts: 181 Apply To Open Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

MassachusettsMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health was busy on Thursday as 181 people or groups of business partners submitted applications to open medical marijuana dispensaries, according to DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett.

"We're glad that it was a highly competitive process and it will ensure patients' access to the medical use of marijuana in the commonwealth, Bartlett said, reports Lynn Jolicoeur at WBUR.

Thursday was the only day prospective dispensary operators could submit applications for the first phase of the approval process. A crowd showed up at DPH headquarters in downtown Boston, wheeling luggage or carrying boxes or large envelopes of paperwork.

Nearly two-thirds of the applicants may eventually be turned away, reports Chelsea Conaboy at The Boston Globe. Under the new medical marijuana law approved by Massachusetts voters last November, the state may license up to 35 dispensaries.

Bartlett said the DPH plans to choose the dispensaries before the end of this year after careful review, and it could take "several more months" before the dispensaries start actually providing marijuana.

Massachusetts: First Marijuana Dispensaries Could Open By Year's End

Illustration: The Daily ChronicBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The first medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts could open by the end of this year, according to a timeline released on Friday by the state Department of Public Health.

Draft regulations on the medical use of marijuana in Massachusetts were filed by the DPH, which expects the final regulations to be approved by the Public Health Council and the Secretary of State by the end of May, report Marie Szaniszio and Erin Smith at the Boston Herald.

DPH is expected to start accepting applications from prospective dispensary operators by summer, and continue reviewing shops for license approval through the fall, said Interim Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith.

"DPH solicited an unprecedented level of input in drafting these regulations to create a medical marijuana system that is right for Massachusetts," Smith said. "In this proposal, we have sought to achieve a balanced approach that will provide appropriate access for patients, while maintaining a secure system that keeps our communities safe." ("Safe" from one of the most non-toxic substances known to man, presumably.)

DPH requires that each nonprofit medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC), as it calls dispensaries, will operate its own growing facilities. No wholesale distribution of cannabis products will be allowed.

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