Massachusetts’ first medical marijuana dispensary will be allowed to open, but for limited sales, while the state reviews safety standards.
Marijuana grown so far tests for lead higher than allowed in Massachusetts, and the state says labs are not equipped to test for seven of 18 restricted pesticides. But the Baker administration will let Alternative Therapy Group, a proposed dispensary in Salem, open as long as it limits each patient to 4.23 ounces and instructs patients to consume no more than two grams a day.
“Patients have waited to access marijuana for medical purposes for far too long,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement. “This waiver will allow industry laboratories a little more time to reach full operation while providing safe amounts of medical marijuana for qualifying patients who need it.”
Baker approved a one-time, three month waiver from the safety requirements.
“We carefully considered the initial testing results and we will review the standards going forward,” Dr. Monica Bharel, the Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner, said in the statement.
Now that marijuana has been cleared for sale through a dispensary for the first time in Massachusetts, DPH will conduct a final inspection of the store in Salem. If the dispensary passes inspection, it could open next week.