Medical pot facilities ready leap to retail
Many of the nearly two dozen medical marijuana dispensaries already open in Massachusetts are expected to ready pitches to edge into the recreational market, and dozens more could also enter the fray when state regulators start accepting applications on April 1, industry officials say. But whether they, or any others, are actually selling pot by July 1 — when legal sales are allowed to begin — remains an open question, as they prepare to meet both newly cemented state regulations and local guidelines that could differ from town to town.
“It could be 80, 90, 100 dispensaries that want to apply,” said David Torrisi, executive director of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, which represents 16 of the 22 medical marijuana dispensaries that are currently open in the Bay State.
He said he expects the “vast majority” of his group’s members to apply, but each one also has to secure a host community agreement before submitting an application.
“I can’t give you a sense of what they’re facing at the local level,” he said. “It’s going to vary from town to town, city and city, and obviously local officials will dictate a lot of the terms of those agreements.”
The state’s Cannabis Control Commission finalized its regulations yesterday, and is slated to begin accepting applications April 1 from so-called priority candidates, which include current medical marijuana dispensaries and “economic empowerment applicants.”
But those who have secured provisional certificates of registration from the Department of Public Health for a medical marijuana dispensary, but have yet to open, are also allowed to apply. That includes 105 others, according to DPH.
Commission Chairman Steve Hoffman said the panel still intends to have legal sales up and running on July 1, though he noted the group has no direct control over local approval.
“We can’t dictate