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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nicholas Handy, GoLocalWorcester Contributor

Despite raising more than $3 million in nonrefundable application fees from potential medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state, Massachusetts has yet to see a single marijuana dispensary open its doors, or even be completely approved by the state for that matter.

As dispensaries continue to battle through inspection processes, they continue to have to pay fees; fees that have even translated to patients through the state’s recently announced registration system. Combined with the many delays to the dispensary process and other problems that patients are currently experiencing, many marijuana advocates are becoming increasingly upset in regards to how the legalization of medical marijuana is playing out in the Commonwealth.

“If the Department of Public Health was serious about the safety and well-being of patients, then they would implement dispensaries as soon as possible,” said Morgan Fox, Communications Manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, a nationwide organization with the goal of legalizing marijuana in the United States. “The licensing fees combined with the multitude of delays are piling up; the longer patients have to wait, the more disadvantaged they become.”

Each Phase 1 applicant for a dispensary had to pay $1,500; making it to the second phase brought another $30,000 fee. Additionally, each dispensary has to pay a $500 registration fee annually, and a minimum of $1,500 for an architectural review.

Fees Galore

Many medical marijuana advocates are okay with the amount of fees being passed onto dispensaries – after all the law was formed to push the costs …read more