West Tisbury selectmen approve marijuana letter


West Tisbury selectmen, at their meeting on Wednesday, February 26, voted unanimously to approve a letter of support, or at least non-opposition, for Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard Ltd. (PCMV), one of two West Tisbury businesses applying to the state for a license to dispense medical marijuana on Martha’s Vineyard.

The selectmen took no action on a similar request in October from Susan Sanford, owner of dispensary applicant Greenleaf MV Compassionate Care Inc., also in West Tisbury.

Although applications from all four Island businesses applying for marijuana dispensary licenses were denied by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, on January 31, PCMV co-owner Geoffrey Rose said his business scored higher than the other Island businesses in the application process, and the letter would bolster his business’s chances of being approved during a review of his application later this month.

If successful, he said it would be possible for an Island-owned business to run a dispensary on the Vineyard.

“It’s about keeping this local,” Mr. Rose said. “It’s about job creation on the Island. I am asking you to provide this letter to potentially allow us to continue to be a part of the process. Without it, you are basically ensuring that an off-Island entity will come here to operate.”

Selectman Richard Knabel said that if Greenleaf wanted the letter, its owners should ask the selectmen.

The two Vineyard applicants applying for a license to own and operate a dispensary, in addition to Ms. Sanford and Mr. Rose and his partner, Jonathan Bernstein, are Oak Bluffs businessman Mark Wallace of Kingsbury Group Inc. and Michael Peters, doing business under the name MV Greencross.

The DPH selection committee made its selections in January using a scoring method guided by state procurement principles. “The process included extensive background checks and was based on factors such as overall quality of the application, appropriateness of the site, local support, and the applicant’s ability to meet the overall health needs of registered patients while ensuring public safety,” DPH said.

Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard received a score of 125, Greenleaf 118, MV Greencross 91, and the Kingsbury Group 65.

Mr. Rose said the letter would add nine points to his score, enough to put him back in the running. Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts, the highest scoring applicant with 160 points, won licenses for Barnstable, Bristol, and Plymouth counties.

In other business, selectmen unanimously rejected a finance committee recommendation that would make the warrant article requesting funds for the Adult Community Education (ACEMV) program conditional on passage by all of the other Island towns.

Selectman Cynthia Mitchell said that she thought the program was too important to not fund, just because other towns might not. Selectman Richard Knabel said, “I don’t want to hamstring this program by putting a six-town requirement on it.”