With the passage of Question 3 on Tuesday, cities and towns are left to set regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Voters approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, as prescribed by a doctor, by a 63 to 37 percent margin. With the approval comes the creation of marijuana dispensaries—"non-profit treatment centers that will grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers," according to the Secretary of State.
There are already state regulations built into Question 3, which require the dispensaries to apply and pay for a Department of Public Health registration, as well as submit operating procedures, including the mandatory storage of marijuana in locked facilities.
Communities will also need to set local regulations for dispensaries.
Burlington Town Administrator John Petrin said town leaders are just beginning to discuss what should be done in Burlington. He said the plan now is to discuss it with the Planning Board, which handles applying zoning laws for incoming businesses.
"We’ve had some preliminary discussion on what we need to put on the plate for discussion to see where we want to go," he said.
Petrin did not say right out that the town would look to block a dispensary in town. However, during a discussion of the possibility of the law passing last Monday, members of the board of selectmen discussed the possibility of trying to block dispensaries from town.
Burlington voters were in favor of the ballot measure on Tuesday. In town the measure received 7,257 'yes' votes as opposed to 5,601 against.
Massachusetts is the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana. Dispensaries have popped up all over the United States, and there are websites dedicated to finding them, including: WeedMaps.com.
Colorado has marijuana dispensaries in place, which were overloaded with callers seeking pot for recreational use earlier this week, according to News5 KOAA.com.
Marijuana has been used to help with several medical conditions in the 17 other states where it was legal before Tuesday. According to Pain Management of America, "Some of the more common conditions and symptoms treated with medical marijuana include chronic pain, nausea, glaucoma, seizure disorders, cancer, diabetes [and] muscle spasms."
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that an Oakland, CA dispensary generated nearly $1 million in tax revenue and sells approximately $20 million in pot annually.
What do you think? Should Burlington allow a medical marijuana dispensary (or more) in town? Tell us in the comments section.