Initial steps taken for recreational weed license

Patient Centric certified to apply, but Rose says process will be lengthy.


Updated April 24

Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard, which is already a registered medical marijuana dispensary, is taking steps to obtain a recreational marijuana license.

Patient Centric is one of 20 applicants given priority applicant approvals by the Cannabis Control Commission on April 10, according to documents posted on the commission’s website.

Geoff Rose, CEO of Patient Centric, confirmed he is taking the steps to obtain a recreational marijuana license. “I’m pursuing it because it’s the law,” Rose told The Times. “It needs to be undertaken by responsible, mature, ethical people who understand this community.”

Rose pointed out that his medical marijuana facility is funded by local residents or people with ties to the Island. “These people are committed to seeing that medical marijuana is brought to the Vineyard,” he said.

Rose applied for the priority certification on April 3, he said. “Both these licensed operations will ensure regulated, tested product, increased employment opportunities, and in the case of adult use, tax revenue to both the commonwealth and the towns,” Rose said.

How much revenue and how many jobs may be created is something Rose said will be determined in a thorough review, using an advisory board consisting of individuals in medicine, law enforcement, drug awareness and prevention, law, education, commerce, and patient advocacy. Rose said it will likely take two years to go through the licensing process. The model follows one used effectively in Pitkin County, Colo., after marijuana was legalized there, he said. “The purpose is to seek guidance from community leaders,” Rose said.

He has not yet determined a location.

Adult-use marijuana would have to be cultivated on-Island as well, leading to additional jobs. There is also tax revenue for both the state and the town where the outlet is located, he said. Regulations also require a host-community agreement where a town can seek to recoup funds for services it will have to provide as a result of hosting the outlet.

West Tisbury officials are currently reviewing a host agreement for the medical marijuana facility, Rose said.

It’s been more than five years since the voters spoke on medical marijuana, and the dispensary has yet to open on Martha’s Vineyard, though Rose has obtained the necessary permits through the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and West Tisbury planning agencies, and the building is under construction at 90 Dr. Fisher Road.

Weather delays will likely push the first cultivation to early fall, and serving medical marijuana patients sometime early in 2019, Rose said.

Serving medical marijuana patients has always been the priority, Rose said. “As a parent of a daughter who copes with mental health disorders, I was aware of success stories as to how medical marijuana treated specific mental health disorders, particularly PTSD,” he said. “This helped me to realize that there is a need for this service, and it is a viable business.”

A spokesman for the commission said license applications won’t be processed until after June 1.

Other priority applicants have been approved since the April 10 approval, but Patient Centric is the only one on the Island.

The commission has also posted guidance for retail marijuana cultivation and establishments.

Updated with comments from Geoff Rose. -Ed.