Massachusetts Regulators Approve 11 Dispensary Applications

The rollout of Massachusetts’ medical marijuana program has been proceeding more slowly than anticipated, but a major milestone was reached last week with the approval of 11 dispensary applications. The Department of Public Health granted eleven provisional certificates on Friday, and it’s possible that some of the approved dispensaries will be ready to serve patients before the end of this year.

The department had previously given preliminary approval to 20 applicants, but, after further review of the applications, nine were rejected. Massachusetts’ law authorizes up to 35 dispensaries, so these rejected applicants and others will be allowed to reapply in 2015.

Additionally, it’s disappointing that the state has not yet made it possible for patients to apply for ID cards. However, with dispensaries planning to open in only a matter of months, it seems likely that the ID card issue will soon be resolved.

 

4 thoughts on “Massachusetts Regulators Approve 11 Dispensary Applications”

  1. Illinois became the 20th state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana in July 2013. But the Illinois law, which allows for a four-year medical marijuana pilot program, could be the next big windfall for cronyism in the state.

    Political favoritism may already be cropping up in Illinois’ newly established medical marijuana industry, and barriers to entry could be steep as the state may impose hefty application and permit fees.

    Competition to become established in Illinois’ medical marijuana business is stiff. Under the pilot program created by the new state law, Illinois will allow only 60 marijuana dispensaries and 22 growing centers.

    This industry is expected to mean big money for those who land much-coveted business rights — last year, California’s medical marijuana sales were $1 billion. And in Illinois, a state notorious for corrupt insider dealings, the politically connected often get first dibs.

    Those wanting a shot at one of the precious few dispensary and growing center slots are already jockeying for position. Anyone wanting to open one of these businesses must submit the name of the business, proposed location, relevant agricultural experience and much more information.

    One person seeking medical marijuana registration from the state is Sam Borek, a former college roommate of Lou Lang, the state representative who sponsored Illinois’ medical marijuana law. According to CBS St. Louis, Borek has reserved at least three-dozen marijuana-related business names.

    A friend of the governor is trying to get in on the action as well.

    Chicagoan David Rosen, who was Gov. Pat Quinn’s chief fundraiser in 2010, plans to open a medical marijuana business in Nevada called “Waveseer” — and interestingly enough, he has also registered the same business name in Illinois, CBS St. Louis reported.

    Ultimately, the state will have the sole authority to decide the businesses it feels are best suited to operate under the new state law, and that will leave open the possibility for lawmakers to grant special favors to those applicants who are politically connected.

    And any applicants who do receive registration through the state will have to comply with numerous regulations.

    Under proposed regulations for the pilot program, the state would require dispensaries to pay a $5,000 nonrefundable application fee, a $30,000 permit fee and a $25,000 in annual permit renewal fee. Anyone wanting a dispensary permit will also have to show proof of $50,000 in escrow or bonds.

    The application fee for growing centers is even steeper, at $25,000. Growing centers also have to pay a $200,000 fee after its permit is approved, plus a $100,000 renewal fee. Applicants would also have to prove that they have $2 million in escrow or bonds.

    And if owners want to make changes to their business, there could be a fee for that, too.

    Under the proposed regulations, the state could charge growing centers $1,000 to change their business name, to alter stock ownership or change principal officers.

    These hefty fees certainly limit the number of people who can afford to open a business in a booming industry.

    Given the level of state involvement in Illinois’ medical marijuana industry, it’s not hard to imagine opportunities for corruption. So as marijuana-related business licenses begin to roll out of Springfield, Illinoisans would be wise to pay attention to who’s reaping the benefits.

    (Huffington Post)

  2. Under the current regulations ,I believe one must have about three million dollars to “obtain” a slot in The Machine.

    That amount of money is chump change for 1%ers.

    It’s a joke…just not a funny one.

    The only rational solution is to end Prohibition…and put the street drug dealers out of their tax free business.

  3. Illinois: Widow Who Pushed For Medical Marijuana Not Allowed To Use It Under New Law Submitted by steveelliott on Wed, 09/04/2013 – 15:53 2013 arthritis chicago compassionate use of medical cannabis directeffect charities fibromyalgia Illinois medical marijuana Medicinal Cannabis michelle digiacomo pat quinn pilt program Political public schools rotator cuff stenosis By Steve Elliott Hemp News Michelle DiGiacomo of Chicago won’t be allowed to use medical marijuana under the new law in Illinois — because she used medical marijuana before the law passed. When police stormed DiGiacomo’s North Side Chicago apartment last year, she had known the day could come, since marijuana was still illegal in Illinois even for medical reasons. But she was still unprepared. “I was about to experience the worst 28 hours of my life,” said DiGiacomo, 53, who runs Direct Effect Charities, which serves needy Chicago Public Schools kids, reports Maudlyne Ihejirika at the Chicago Sun-Times. “We had discussed this possibility in the past; one I had hoped would never come to be.”

    The widowed mother had used marijuana for the past five years to control the pain of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis and rotator cuff disease.
    Pharmaceuticals had resulted in adverse reactions, or had failed to provide relief. After he September 13, 2012 arrest, she pleaded guilty on March 5 to Class 4 felony possession of marijuana, just five months before Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state’s medical marijuana bill into law.

    Now she’s not allowed to take part in the program, because under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, a felony conviction disqualifies her from accessing medical marijuana. Advocates say the story highlights the new law’s shortcomings. – See more at: http://hemp.org/news/category/cannabis/michelle-digiacomo#sthash.wxTqRRxv.dpuf

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