Four groups pass first step toward medical marijuana dispensary

Four groups pass first step toward medical marijuana dispensary

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All four of the Martha’s Vineyard based organizations that cleared the first hurdle in the regulatory process for opening a medical marijuana dispensary on the Martha’s Vineyard were invited today to continue to the more stringent second phase of the application process.

Complementary medicine practitioner Susan Sanford of Greenleaf MV Compassionate Care Inc., Oak Bluffs businessman Mark Wallace of Kingsbury Group Inc., Island businessman Geoffrey Rose of Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard Ltd., and Michael Peters of MV Greencross Inc., were all included on a list of groups approved in Dukes County, after a preliminary review by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The DPH released the list today.

Kingsbury Group also got a green light to proceed to phase two with two more applications, both in Barnstable County.

“This is a very competitive process and we required applicants to meet high standards to advance,” DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said in a news release. “We are fortunate that Massachusetts has a large field of serious applicants, who are capable of making a significant investment to benefit qualified patients and safeguard communities. While no decision to deny an applicant was taken lightly, we wanted to ensure that those who advance could demonstrate the ability to operate a successful non-profit registered marijuana dispensary.”

In phase two of the competitive application process, DPH will review the applicants for appropriateness of the site they have in mind, the geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients, while ensuring public safety.

DPH officials plan to meet informally with interested applicants on October 10.

Initial licensing fees for phases one and two of the process total a minimum of $33,500. The annual registration fee for successful applicants is $50,000.

DPH is charged with creating and administering licensing and registration of medical marijuana, under the voter approved ballot question which took effect January 1.

The law allows as many as five medical marijuana dispensaries in each county, and requires at least one.