After weeks of debate and public consideration, the Massachusetts Department of Health will be moving forward with implementation of their proposed medical marijuana regulations after it was approved unanimously by the state’s Public Health Council this week. The regulations were largely praised by the medical marijuana community.
Some of the specific regulations that were approved, include:
- Allowing a patient to possess up to 10 ounces at a given time, which is described as a “60-day supply”.
- Allows physicians to recommend marijuana to their patient even if their condition isn’t officially listed as one that qualifies an individual to be an authorized patient, as long as the physician believes it will be useful to them and their condition is “debilitating” in nature. Massachusetts will be the first state with a law that allows such discretion.
- Requires dispensaries to perform 3rd party testing to ensure contaminates such as pesticides, mold and mildew aren’t found in the medicine they’re selling to patients.
- Allows up to 35 state-licensed dispensaries to operate in the state.
- The rules take effect May 24th – the first dispensaries will likely open around the beginning of next year, if not by the end of this year. Patients will be authorized to privately cultivate a few plants until the dispensaries begin to open.
With this vote, the State of Massachusetts has taken a giant step towards offering patients safe access to their medicine. A round of applause to the advocates who made it happen!