Mass. Finally Green Lights First Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 01/12/2015 in Medical Marijuana News
At last, Massachusetts has finally approved its first medical marijuana dispensary and cultivator for the States medical marijuana program, that was voted into law back in 2012.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently selected Alternative Therapies Group Inc. as the first company to be allowed to grow marijuana for medical use.
Alternative Therapies Group Inc (ATG). will be opening the doors to their dispensary at 50 Grove St., Salem. And they will be cultivating at 10 Industrial Way, Amesbury.
Although a big step in the right direction for Massachusetts, unfortunately access to medical marijuana is still a wait away for the State’s patients. Cannabis takes approximately 3 months to grow from seed to crop – once ATG is ready to harvest they will have to face further State review including, testing of the plants, and inspection of the company’s proposed transportation plans.
Deputy director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, which promotes and supports safe access to medical marijuana, Nichole Snow, says, “This is an exciting first step. I am overwhelmed with joy. . . . It means that myself as a patient and other patients will have safe access to their much-needed medication.” Snow says that she needs medical marijuana to treat her muscle spasms and pain – the result of injuries she suffered in multiple car accidents.
The process for issuing dispensary licenses has been a gruelingly slow one because of questions that arose from the companies hired to review the 100 applicants. Its is reported that while 1 contractor acknowledges having been pressed for time while reviewing some applications, another failed to uncover that a couple applying to run several proposed dispensaries had lost their Colorado marijuana license due to violations.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health decided to suspend the selection process when served with more than 2 dozen lawsuits over the process. However, now it seems, the State is ready to set the wheel in motion once more.
In a statement, Health and Human Services Secretary, John Polanowicz, said that, “Providing safe patient access is a priority . . . and we are proud to take this important step forward. Selecting dispensaries that meet our high standards takes time, but ensuring a launch of this new industry the right way for the people of Massachusetts is a top priority.”
According to Salem Mayor, Kimberley Driscoll, ATG “went out of their way to meet with neighbors, officials, and others in Salem, to introduce themselves and explain what they will be doing. . . . Salem has long been a progressive, forward-thinking, and open-minded community, and we look forward to ATG starting operation and providing yet another critical medical choice to patients for the entire North Shore.”
In another statement issued by Amesbury Mayor, Ken Gray, ATG received a positive response from the Amesbury community too. “I look forward to seeing ATG develop as a positive contributor to the Amesbury community,” said Mayor Gray.
Boston college graduate, Jason Draizin – also the CEO and founder of New York based company, MarijuanaDoctors.com – says that this is great news for the patients of Massachusetts. “At last the State is starting to weed through the applications and nominate the most suitable dispensary and cultivator applicants. These means that if the State keeps moving forward without any further obstacles or hold-ups, then patients in Massachusetts may finally have access to their medication come this summer time. MarijuanaDoctors.com wishes Alternative Therapies Group much success in their new endeavor – we have high hopes that they will be ready to open their doors soon!”