Four Island applicants are closer to marijuana dispensary permits

Four Island applicants are closer to marijuana dispensary permits

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Geoffrey Rose and business partner Jonathan Bernstein leased the former Up-Island Paint and Tool building in West Tisbury for the location of a 2,500 square foot medical marijuana dispensary under the name Patient Centric MV. — Photo by Michelle Gross

On Monday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) published a list of 158 applicants who are eligible to move on to phase two of an application process that will allow a total of 35 medical marijuana dispensaries statewide to cultivate and market medical marijuana and marijuana infused products. The list includes four businesses that have applied for licenses to operate in Dukes County.

Three of the four are local applicants. They are Oak Bluff businessman Mark Wallace and his son, Jordan Wallace, operating as Kingsbury Corporation; Susan Sanford of West Tisbury, operating as Greenleaf Compassion Care; and Our Island Club founders Geoffrey Rose of Vineyard Haven and Jonathan Bernstein of West Tisbury, operating as Patient Centric MV.

The fourth applicant is listed as Michael Peters of Greencross MV. There was no additional information for the Greencross application.

All of the applicants cleared a background check and demonstrated financial strength, to the tune of $500,000 in start-up capital, plus a non-refundable $1,500 submission fee. Kingsbury Group also got a green light to proceed to phase two with two more applications, both aimed at locations in Barnstable County.

DPH culled the 158 approved applicants from a list of 181 applications received by August 22, under the terms of a voter-approved ballot initiative that makes medical marijuana available with a physician’s certification to patients with conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, AIDS, and other illnesses.

The DPH, the agency in charge of the competitive two-part process, eliminated 22 applicants that failed to meet the requirements under phase one.

“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,” DPH commissioner Cheryl Bartlett said in a statement Monday. “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, nonprofit Registered Marijuana Dispensary.”

The next step for the 158 applicants will be an informational meeting on Thursday, October 10, at 1 pm, at the Holiday Inn in Somerville. The DPH will answer applicants’ questions.

In phase two, the test will be the “appropriateness of the site, geographical distribution of dispensaries, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients, while ensuring public safety.”

In the first year, there must be one, but no more than five, dispensaries in each of Massachusetts’s 14 counties. Following phase two, the 35 dispensaries that are selected will be required to pay a $50,000 annual fee for registration. There will also be a $500 annual registration fee for each dispensary agent.

Zoning laws

In phase two, applicants must show that they can comply with all municipal rules, regulations, and bylaws.

“It’s off to the races,” Geoffrey Rose told The Times on Wednesday. “This has been a full-time job for me for the last ten months, and we’re doing everything we can to get things started here. Complying with the town’s bylaws is a big part of that.”

Mr. Rose and Mr. Bernstein have leased the former Up-Island Paint and Tool building in North Tisbury and plan a dispensary of 2,500 square feet, under the name Patient Centric MV, if the DPH approves their application.

Also in West Tisbury, Susan Sanford, president of Vineyard Complementary Medicine, is seeking a change in zoning bylaws that would allow her to operate a licensed marijuana dispensary cultivation facility where her current business is located.

Ms. Sanford made the request in a letter to selectmen that asked that the bylaw change be placed on the warrant for an upcoming special town meeting. Ms. Sanford also asked for a special permit for cultivation, in a maximum 1,000-square-foot area.

Oak Bluffs

In Oak Bluffs on Thursday, the planning board will host an open discussion at 7 pm at town hall to discuss any possible amendments to the town’s zoning bylaws in preparation for the arrival of a marijuana dispensary. Chairman John Bradford said the meeting will also address questions about possible locations.

In a telephone conversation with The Times Wednesday, Mr. Bradford said the planning board will propose three possible locations. The first is near the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, known as the health care district, which is intended primarily for health care related uses, including hospitals, physicians offices, nursing and convalescent homes, long-term care facilities, laboratories, elder and child care establishments, and substance abuse services, according to Oak Bluffs zoning bylaws.

The second possible location is an unspecified property along the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in the area of the Goodale Construction Company and the NSTAR plant. The third location would be off of Holmes Hole Road, Mr. Bradford said.


  1. the king of mopeds to get a licencse . Gee one stop shop for gas, beer, weed and munchies!!!!! Only in Oak Bluffs

  2. “It’s off to the races…”
    Doesn’t that quote just sum things up?

    2,500 square feet for a “dispensary”? That’s dance-hall sized room. You could run a pot shop out of a couple of hundred square feet, couldn’t you?

    In a sad twist of fate, the “Gonzo’s Dispensary” applicant does not seem to have made the cut.

    With overhead such as the State is imposing, it’s a sure thing that the only real estate many “pot shops” will occupy will be the insides of
    overcoat pockets.

    Hey, you! Psssst!

    1. Building is full of mold, any medicinal plants grown on site will be useless for patients even manufactured into by products. I hope GR and JB are smart about this issue they are facing with the building itself.

  3. I have a hard time believing that there are THAT many people on this small island that require medical marijuana. I’m not against the use of anything that will alleviate people’s suffering from pain or nasty side effects of chemo, but I’m not drinking the cool aid on this one. $500,000 start up capital then $50,000 a year per registration fee? That’s a lot of weed to sell.

    1. Not just chemo. It helps PTSD. Also maybe even ADHD in kids. Might replace Riddilin.being there are no side effects. I blame the Republicans for starting the war on drugs that deprived so many of relief. I dont think a Republican ever will have a chance to get back in office.

      1. Really? You want to start giving it to kids to treat ADHD? Its debatable whether or not ADHD is an actual condition.

        Lets just give kids with too much energy some pot to calm them down. Oh my God, that is just as despicable as the pharmaceutical companies pumping our kids full of mood drugs until they become suicidal or homicidal.

        No side effects? You must live in a bubble.

        Wow, just…wow.

          1. Try to be a little more discriminating in your news sources. The source you cite also claims that pot cures cancer. People whose brains are not addled by chemicals are able differentiate truth from substance abuse whimsy. Your post is irresponsible. Pot is not given to kids for any medical purposes and anyone with psychiatric disorders who uses pot is playing with fire, since marijuana mixed with PTSD or other mental illnesses can lead to paranoid psychosis. It’s really dangerous to believe what you think is true.

            “Medical” use is making all the hoards of island potheads very happy. They’re hoping that when they go to the doctor for a strained back, lyme disease, nervousness, or dishpan hands that they can leave with a script for legal weed… and they probably will. Four dispensaries on our small island probably aren’t enough.

          2. Marijuana is not addicitive like cigarettes and alcohol. It is not a gateway drug to opiates. In a couple of years I hope it is fully legalized so anyone can grow it. Presently they are still arresting people for growing it. As long as the law dont let you grow it the dispensaries should do well. It has been used as an experimental drug on ADHD kids, because it dont have the side effects other drugs do.

          3. Thats debatable. My personal experience with marijuana is limited. The few times I tried it, my experience ranged from absolutely no effect, to a scary night of hallucinations, heart palpitations and delusional thoughts. That was it for me. The point is, you dont know what your getting or how your body and mind will react at any given time. Tell my brother its not a gateway drug. Hes an addict who tells everyone who will listen that his innocent, recreational pot smoking was his entrez into a drug culture that nearly killed him.

          4. Well if your brother wasnt a cigarette smoker I would have to give that some thought. I would call cigarettes the gateway drug to drugs and alcohol. To this day I still crave them. The number of people not able to quit smoking is unbelievable,most will just smoke to the grave. I always tell kids not to start up because its the hardest drug to quit.

          5. YOU’RE correct in YOUR comment. Homophones are tricky. THEY’RE tricky because THEIR spellings are different from how they sound. THERE, I hope that’s clear. The EFFECT of your comment has AFFECTED the censor, though, and has made me laugh trying to get a responding comment in that passes muster with a person I KNOW has NO sense of humor.

        1. how about a nice jolt cola ?
          or a bag of processed corn syrup?

          So what are the “side effects” of medical marijuana ? , besides helping you through an illness of course ?

    1. All that card does is raise the cost of goods.

      If merchants sell something for $100 and the island card give them 10% off, the merchant is just raising it that 10% to cover their cost. No bargain for us, just higher prices.

      1. That was a joke, fella! Geoff and Jonathan run the Island card. But I agree, it does nothing but give the illusion of a discount while driving up prices.

      2. Yeah, but the characters who run the Island Card make a 100 grand on the deal. What’s not to like for them?

        1. I seriously doubt they make that much and even if they do, they’ve done a service for islanders. There are membership reduced rates for those who qualify and part of the fee goes to a local charity/non-profit. Over 175 businesses accept the card. I have saved enormously on food and propane. What have you done for the island?

          1. The “portion of the profits goes to charity” scam/scheme is the oldest in the book. What I have done for the island is not the issue here. The issue is truth is advertising. The illusion of savings is not the same as savings.

  4. Wherever these dispensaries are located on the Island, eventually, expect a 50 to 75 percent markup over average mainland prices for the same commodity/medicine. People will still have to travel off-island to get the biggest bang for their buck.


  6. Isn’t that a little close to the charter school. Don’t find that legal even if it medical!!!

  7. How ’bout a little analogy:
    How to get to PotShopsVille.
    Directions: You down Paved With Good Intentions Road, and go through Lawyer Avenue. Make a few stops. Turn right on Red Tape Street. Make a stop at the Bureaucracy Building, then go on for more stops at the bank, perhaps other financial institutions, and then go back to the Bureaucracy Building. I’ve probably missed a few of the detours you’ll encounter along the way. Like a stop at the printer’s for another book of checks. Continue towards the toll bridge, but stop beforehand at customs and at tax and toll collector booths before proceeding. Pay another ($50,000) tax and toll at the end of the bridge. For the privilege of having gone over the bridge, you get to pay the toll again every year thereafter.

  8. I know a terminally ill person who looked into medical marijuana for pain and nausea. Doctor said it was $100 a pill. Found someone from whom to buy a small bag and managed to find a pipe. We need the freedom to grow cannabis for our own personal use thereby having control over purity and leaving pesticides and any other additives out of the final product, period!

    1. As a legal MMJ patient, I couldn’t agree more. Having to buy “warehouse weed” is not appealing to me. The State is doing everything it can to dissuade patients from growing. Most folks who qualify for MMJ are likely to be struggling to make ends meet, unable to work. The “Pot” Doc’s charge $200 annually.
      If you jump thru the right hoops enough to qualify for a “hardship cultivation”, that’s a $100 annually. Small price to pay I guess compared to having to buy crappy weed.
      The therapeutic value of having a relationship with your own medicine cannot be overstated. Grow your own!