Massachusetts medical marijuana laws passed last November allows for up to 35 nonprofit dispensaries around the state, and draft regulations to guide the industry were just released today.
Among the proposed rules is the determination that a 60-day supply of marijuana can be up to ten ounces per patient and that all dispensaries would have to grow their own cannabis.
Wholesale transactions would not be allowed and advertising would be severely limited. Patients would only be able to grow their own supply if they can prove financial or physical hardships that prevent them from buying at a dispensary.
The proposed rules for the medical marijuana program would also prevent cities and municipalities from outright banning dispensaries, if passed.
That news probably isn’t welcome in Wakefield, Mass. where city leaders clearly do not like marijuana. As we told you earlier this month, the town has already tried once to outright ban medical marijuana centers in their town only to be told by the state Attorney General that such moves would be illegal.
Earlier this week, the town’s six-member Board of Selectmen decided they didn’t like that decision, and voted unanimously to appeal the ruling from state Attorney General Martha Coakley. They also say they will ask for a one-year moratorium at the annual town meeting May 6.
Wakefield first attempted the ban in November along with three other towns in the state. At the time, the attorney general decided that banning the centers would violate the rights of patients: “The legislative purpose could not be served if a municipality could prohibit treatment centers within its borders, for if one municipality could do so, presumably all could do so,” Coakley wrote.
But city leaders weren’t pleased. “The ban that was passed in Melrose was done with the best interests of the citizens of Melrose in mind, in order to protect our neighborhoods and our school zones and our business districts,” said Robert Van Campen, Melrose’s city solicitor, according to the Boston Herald.
The Massachusetts Department of Health has until the first of the new year to enact regulations allowing for centers to operate, and the proposed regulations call for the state to license at least 14 alternative treatment centers the first year.