Last week, the Department of Public Health announced the list of applicants for Registered Marijuana Dispensaries that are in the final phase of the competitive application process.
The Centers for Alternative Medicine Inc. is one of 100 Medical Marijuana Dispensary applicants that met the November 21 deadline for the final phase and plans to locate its medical marijuana shop at 220 William F. McClellan Highway in East Boston.
The Centers for Alternative Medicine Inc, and other Phase 2 applicants have been asked by the DPH to demonstrate local support during the Department’s review process, and must now show that they can comply with all municipal rules, regulations, ordinances and bylaws. The Department is also developing a database to track patient and physician registrations, which will be available to law enforcement.
With the potential of a medical marijuana facility located in their neighborhood, Eastie’s elected officials don’t seemed to be phased by the proposal.
“I don’t think there’s going to be thousands of vehicles coming to East Boston to get marijuana. They’re legitimate operations and they’re working with cancer patients and hospitals,” said City Councilor Sal LaMattina, who is in support of two dispensaries in his district. “They would still have to go through the neighborhood councils, but I think they’ll have neighborhood support.”
The Massachusetts Medicinal Marijuana Law allows for up to five dispensaries in Suffolk County.
LaMattina added that Eastie voted 3 to 1 to allow for medical marijuana in the state during the state’s ballot question.
Representative Carlo Basile added that he could support such an operation if it met all the regulations of the law.
“The law is designed to help very ill patients have a better quality of life through alternative medicine,” said Basile. “If it’s done right I would support it.”
Only applicants who were approved in the Department’s Phase 1 review were eligible to apply for the second and final phase of dispensary selection.
The selection committee will evaluate and score Phase 2 applications based on such factors as appropriateness of the site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients while ensuring public safety.
The company vying for a dispensary in Eastie will be operated by Chelsea resident Jake Resnek and includes a board of doctors and experienced growers from state’s that have already legalized medical marijuana.
The voter-approved law allows the Department to register up to 35 non-profit Registered Marijuana Dispensaries across the state, with at least one but no more than five dispensaries per county.
Since the law took effect January 1, 2013, the Department has enjoyed significant public involvement through listening sessions and public hearings. DPH enacted regulations that have been called a model for other states to follow, and the Department has advanced the competitive dispensary application process on an aggressive timeline to ensure patient access.
DPH anticipates that the Phase 2 review will be completed by early 2014. At that time, the list of applicants who will receive a provisional license will be made available to the public.