The first ever medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts was allowed to open its doors for business by virtue of a one-time, temporary waiver, announced Charlie Baker on Friday.
Under the Massachusetts regulations, samples of medicinal marijuana should be perused for contaminants like cannabinoids, solvents, mycotoxins and other microbiological toxins together with heavy metals and traces of pesticide.
Samples were submitted by Alternative Therapy Group (ATG) for testing, but Massachusetts labs were not able to test for 7 out of the 18 pesticides. Under the present state regulations, it would make the marijuana unfit to be sold by the Massachusetts dispensaries.
The waiver allows ATG to sell medicinal marijuana provided it comes with a label disclosing what chemicals were not tested.
In 2012, voters approved a ballot that allows the licensing of up to 35 outlets to operate and sell marijuana to patients who suffer from certain conditions like multiple sclerosis, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
Baker in a statement said, “Patients have waited to access marijuana for medical purposes for far too long”.
The facility is allowed to dispense a maximum of 4.23 ounces for a 60-day supply to qualified patients, under the 3-month waiver.
Patients are normally allowed to buy up to 10 ounces of the medical marijuana every two months.
Marylou Sudders, the Health and Human Services Secretary has backed Baker’s decision. “We are not lowering our standards for the testing of marijuana for medical purposes”, Sudders said.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is tasked to review the standards for the naturally occurring minerals so as to ensure they will be attainable for future dispensaries.
So, while Massachusetts reviews safety standards, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the state will be allowed to open but only for limited sales.
ATG hopes to open this summer, according to its website.
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