By Steve Elliott
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.