Checking in with Patient Centric of West Tisbury

Labs, laws, zones, and edibles are part of the up-Island medical marijuana dispensary.

Construction is underway at the Patient Centric cultivation site at 90 Dr. Fisher Road in West Tisbury.

Patient Centric is the Island’s only registered marijuana dispensary, approved by the Department of Public Health to cultivate and distribute medical marijuana.

The cultivation facility, or growing site, is located at 90 Dr. Fisher Road in West Tisbury. The distribution facility, or dispensary, will be located at 510 State Road in West Tisbury, where A Gallery is now. According to Patient Centric CEO Geoff Rose, the medical marijuana licensing process requires cultivation and distribution to operate out of separate facilities. The cultivation site is still under construction, and Rose said it should be complete this fall.

“We will hopefully be cultivating in the fall, and serving patients early next year,” Rose said in an interview with The Times.

According to a prepared statement, when choosing genetic material for cultivation, Patient Centric will be selecting strains based on flowering times, plant height, growth rates, and pest and disease resistance. “The bulk of our selection will consist of hybrid varieties with stable genetics,” according to the statement. “This selection will be made to offer a wide choice to satisfy the varying needs of our patients.”

Patient Centric has a full-time cultivation manager, Alexis Anagnos, who’s a state-registered medical-use caregiver. She’s currently operating a small-scale medical grow operation, and has cultivated multiple generations of strains over the three years that she’s been a registered caregiver. Anagnos and Rose are the two full-time employees at Patient Centric. The cultivation site is where cannabis will be grown, where a lab would located, and where marijuana-infused products will be made, according to Rose.

All marijuana products, whether used medically or recreationally, must be tested by an independent lab before they’re allowed to be distributed. Patient Centric is collaborating with Penobscot Analytics, a Maine-based company specializing in chromatography and sample analysis.

“Penobscot Analytics brings their unique suite of consulting services to partner with [Patient Centric] and design a laboratory space and analysis routine to meet the needs of medical cannabis patients on Martha’s Vineyard,” the statement said.

“The concept of an independent laboratory is still under discussion,” Rose said. “But we will have a testing laboratory and will be testing here on the Island.”

Marijuana-infused products, or edibles, also have a place at Patient Centric. “We’re working with a well-known local consultant for infused products,” Rose said of Kyleen Keenan, co-founder of Not Your Sugar Mamas. “She’s very knowledgeable, and we’re excited to be working with her. She’s going to do recipe creation and MIP (marijuana-infused product) room design.”

Rose’s licensing is strictly for medical, although he’s in the process of applying for adult-use, or recreational, marijuana approval.

“We’re looking at zones within each town,” Rose said. Each town has mapped out where recreational and medical marijuana establishments could be located. In the town of West Tisbury, medical and adult-use zones overlap. Rose isn’t ruling out other towns for an adult-use establishment.

According to the Cannabis Control Commission website, all marijuana establishments are required to enter a host community agreement with the town in which they are located. Rose said it’s an ongoing process that takes a lot of back and forth between himself, town selectmen, and town counsel.

“I’m hopeful that we will come to an agreement relatively soon,” he said. “We’ve narrowed down the issues, and I’m confident we will come up with an agreement in the coming weeks.”

As far as public consumption goes, personal use is permitted in your own home. “Generally speaking, you treat cannabis the same way you treat alcohol,” Rose said.

Despite cannabis being legalized in Massachusetts, there is currently nowhere legally selling marijuana on or near the Island. The state law, which was approved by referendum, is in contradiction to federal law, which considers marijuana an illegal drug. According to the State House News Service, rather than targeting the commonplace toker, federal law enforcement will be cracking down on overproduction, sales to minors, and organized crime in the industry.