First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses Awarded in Massachusetts

After much anticipation, state health officials Friday revealed the names of the companies that will receive the first 20 licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts, although it will likely be summertime before any open their doors for business.

Voters in November 2012 approved a ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for medical treatment, and the voter-approved law allowed the state health department to select up to 35 non-profit companies across the state to open dispensaries, with at least one but no more than five per county.

But the state Friday chose to approve just 20, spread across 10 of Massachusetts’ 14 counties. Left out were Berkshire, Franklin, Dukes and Nantucket counties, which did not receive a dispensary in this initial round.

“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 state health department said in a statement. “This phase will allow the Selection Committee to review high-scoring applicants who wish to seek a change of location to an underserved county to maximize patient access.”

– Read the entire article at The Boston Globe.