'I'm going to give it a whirl': Western Massachusetts residents seeking relief from pain get medical marijuana tips
CHICOPEE — Some of those attending a dinner and speaking program about medical marijuana Wednesday night at the Munich Haus said it was very helpful as they look for an innovative, legal means of relief from their acute and chronic illnesses.
The program was presented by INSA, a company that has a medical marijuana dispensary in Easthampton and expects to open a dispensary in Springfield in April.
Approximately 125 people attended the event, many raising their hands as likely customers of the dispensaries.
One Hampshire County woman, not wanting her name used, said she is a metastatic breast cancer patient who has some side effects from her medication.
“The future, because I’m Stage 4, is pretty scary,” she said. “I expect a couple of good years, or maybe a little more. I got my (patient ID) card, and I’m going to give it a whirl. But I think it’s a crap shoot. I’m here to learn. I think you have to keep trying different levels and different types. It is scary.”
Dr. Denise Cantin, of Canna Care Docs in Northampton, was the keynote speaker, giving information and advice on cannabis treatment including how to register, her thoughts on the benefits of cannabis and some words of caution. She and other speakers described the characteristics of marijuana, options available and details about how the facilities operate.
In November 2012, Massachusetts voters approved a law to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, permitting no more than five facilities in each county. The Springfield City Council approved the city’s first dispensary in 2016, granted to INSA, then known as Hampden Care Facility.
In 2016, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question that allows the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana.
Julie Lukasik, of Springfield, said the INSA speaking program was very helpful. She said she suffers