It took three years for Massachusetts to turn a ballot question approving the limited sale of medicinal marijuana into a reality; the state’s first dispensary is finally set to open this summer. On Friday, Gov. Charlie Baker issued a one-time waiver to allow the Alternative Therapy Group to begin selling medical marijuana. Regulations in the state currently require medicinal marijuana to be examined for 18 different mandated pesticides. So when the Alternative Therapy Group submitted samples, and labs in the state only had time to test for seven of the 18 mandated pesticides, their weed wasn’t approved to be sold. So, the Governor stepped in, and now the first dispensary in the state is set to open in the summer, by appointment only.
“Patients have waited to access marijuana for medical purposes for far too long,” said Baker. “This waiver will allow industry laboratories a little more time to reach full operation while providing safe amounts of medical marijuana for qualifying patients who need it.”
The three-month waiver limits the dispensary to sell a maximum of 4.23 ounces of marijuana to any one patient over a 60 day period and requires them to provide patients with instructions to consume no more than two grams per day. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders supports the decision:
“We are not lowering our standards for the testing of marijuana for medical purposes,” Sudders said. “The waiver allows for small amounts of marijuana to be dispensed for medical use while testing facilities ramp up.”
There are also two pro-weed groups pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana use on next year’s ballot. In other words, Massachusetts is getting a lot more weed-friendly these days…
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