Patients who have been desperately waiting for a dispensary to open in Massachusetts will finally have some good news to celebrate this week. A dispensary in Salem has received a waiver from the state to begin operating, and opened its doors to qualifying patients on Wednesday. (An appointment is required.)
According to the Department of Health’s website, three other dispensaries have received approval to begin cultivating marijuana. These three dispensaries plan to locate their retail operations in Northampton, Brockton, and Ayer.
Only 15 dispensary applicants were selected by the department in 2014, but the state announced in June that it was overhauling the dispensary selection process and scrapping its widely criticized scoring system for judging dispensary applicants. The department says that from now on, applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and applicants that meet the state’s standards will be approved. Question 3, which was approved by 63% of voters in November 2012, envisioned up to 35 dispensaries for the Bay State.
The delays have been very frustrating for patients, but hopefully this is a sign that Massachusetts is finally getting its act together and implementing the medical marijuana law in an appropriate manner.