It took a lot longer than is reasonable, but Massachusetts can finally say it has its first medical marijuana dispensary.
The first medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts opened last Wednesday, June 24, by appointment only, nearly three years after voters overwhelmingly approved the drug’s therapeutic use. Patients lined up outside the Alternative Therapies Group’s dispensary in Salem, a day after state regulators signed off on its final paperwork.
Access to the dispensary in a converted factory building, which also houses other businesses, will be restricted to patients with a state-issued marijuana registration card.
No marijuana is grown or processed at the Salem site. The company said its cultivation facility is not open to the public.
A last minute hitch was foreseeable. And it happened:
On the Friday following the dispensary’s opening, June 26, Gov. Charlie Baker issued a one-time, temporary waiver allowing Alternative Therapies Group to open despite issues with testing required under state law. Under regulations adopted by Massachusetts, samples of medicinal marijuana must be examined for cannabinoids, solvents, mycotoxins and other microbiological contaminants, along with heavy metals and pesticides.
Alternative Therapy Group submitted samples, but labs in Massachusetts were unable to test for seven of the 18 mandated pesticides. Under current state regulations, that would make dispensaries in Massachusetts ineligible to sell the marijuana.
The waiver allows Alternative Therapy Group to sell marijuana for medical use with a label that discloses to the consumer the chemicals that were not tested.
This was a pretty good day in Massachusetts, I think. For more detail in the original post, click HERE.
[image: Google images “Massachusetts”]
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