Today’s the big day for about 35 entrepreneurs who have ponied up $30,000 to apply for one of the state’s 35 new medical marijuana licenses. I have a friend who owns a big building who is pretty keen on renting to one of these people, if they get the nod and can proceed to the next step of setting up a growing and dispensing operation.
New England Treatment Access Inc., whose president is Kevin Fisher of Steamboat Springs, Colo. was one of the organizations who won the license to operate in Hampshire County today. Currently, four counties: Berkshire, Franklin, Dukes, and Nantucket have no approved dispensaries. The Massachusetts board of health explained today that there are eight other applicants who can apply to these under-served counties in the next go around. Just 20 dispensaries were licensed–not the 35 written into the law.
They did not explain whether there was a different decision process for the growing of the plants. Though there will be clinics with glass jars full of exotic bud, you gotta grow it somewhere, and it will take up a lot more room than the jars!
It is amazing how fast the whole business of marijuana has moved to being almost, well, acceptable to politicians and the public. Even republicans like Rick Perry, governor of Texas, have jumped on the bandwagon, and declared that it is time for decriminalization. There are just too many upsides and we have already seen that in the two states that fully legalized weed, nothing dramatically bad has happened.
I met with Marina Goldman, one of the applicants, and she showed me the two-inch thick stack of regulations that have been crafted. She pointed out that there are many applications of marijuana that don’t give you any high. It’s medicine, and there are hundreds of strains and complex formulas for giving it the healing properties it can deliver. Way beyond the stoner delight of it all. Yet inevitably, medical marijuana leads to the next step, as we’ve seen in Colorado and Washington.
For a politician–what a way to get votes. A majority of the people in the US already favor legalization, you have terribly sad stories of people with glaucoma and other ailments who truly need and use the stuff for medicine–and you can get a huge tax boost from it too!
Compared with what the state thinks they are going to earn from casinos, this is a much surer bet. The only problem I foresee is that it’s just so easy to grow pot that in a few years there will be backyard gardens taking the place of these fancy dispensary and super secure indoor growing labs.