New State Medical Marijuana Rules Put in Place

LowellSun.com reports new regulations will go into effect May 24.


New rules for the medical use of marijuana have been written into the commonwealth's regulatory code by the Massachusetts Public Health Council Wednesday, according to State House News Service report published on LowellSun.com.

Among the new regulations are how much marijuana can be generally used by patients, the licensing procedure for medical marijuana dispensaries and how low-income patients can get access, according to the report.

These regulations will go into effect May 24, according to the Sun.

In November, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as part of a treatment.

for creating regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. The state law also said, and the time, anyone who received a prescription from their physician could legally grow their own marijuana.

Locally, in January, Burlington Town Meeting voted unanimously to approve a moratorium of medical marijuana dispensaries in town. The moratorium would prohibit any application for a marijuana dispensary until June 30 of 2014.

The rational for the moratorium, explained Planning Director Kirsten Kassner, was to give the town time to come up with regulations and to give the State Department of Public Health time to provide its regulations and recommendations.

The Planning Board, which put the article on the Town Meeting warrant, recommended a moratorium, rather than a prohibition, because prohibitions have a history of being successfully challenged when are applied to legal activities.

As explained by Kassner at the Jan. 3 Planning Board meeting, other towns have taken one of three approaches: doing nothing, a moratorium or outright prohibition. However, because voters made the dispensaries legal, she said, there are risks of trying prohibition as such action would likely fail to stand up in court. She said that other towns who have passed rules prohibiting marijuana dispensaries are facing the possibility of those ruling be overturned at the state level.


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