On Friday, the Department of Public Health (DPH) announced they had approved 20 medical marijuama dispensaries statewide. The DPH has the authority to approve up to 35 in the state. The DPH only approved two dispensaries in all of Suffolk County. The two approved in Suffolk County are Good Chemistry of Massachusetts, Inc. 364 Boylston Street, Boston and Green Heart Holistic Health & Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 9 Harrison Ave., Boston.
“Right now our focus is on working with the approved applicants to get started, and also the top scoring applicants who will have a chance to change their location to one of the four underserved counties,” said DPH spokesperson Anne Roach. “The law does allow us to license up to 35 dispensaries and we will continue to look at that need as the process progresses.”
The Registered Marijuana Dispensary Selection Committee made their selections based on a review of 100 Phase 2 finalists, using objective scoring guided by state procurement principles. The process included extensive background checks and was based on factors such as overall quality of the application, appropriateness of the site, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients while ensuring public safety.
Eight highly qualified applicants who were not granted their proposed location will be invited to seek a change of location to a county without provisional approval for a Registered Marijuana Dispensary.
The eight invited to take another bite of the apple will have to seek approval in either Berkshire, Franklin, Dukes or Nantucket County–all areas where no licenses were granted.
“We are pleased to announce that qualified patients will soon have full access to marijuana for medical use in Massachusetts,” said MMJ Program Executive Director Karen van Unen. “Only dispensaries with the highest quality applications were selected to be a part of this new industry, which will create hundreds of jobs while maintaining community safety.”
Van Unen was responsible for final sign off on the selections and will oversee all aspects of the MMJ Program, including the patient and caregiver registration database which will be operational later this year and available to law enforcement.
The Centers for Alternative Medicine (CAM), a medical marijuana facility proposed for McClellan Highway in East Boston did not make a passing grade under the objective scoring guide by the state procurement principles. Two other proposed dispensaries that were to be sited in Revere, Boston Wellness Association, Inc. and Chabad Compassion Center, Inc. also did not make a passing grade.