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Town Manager Says Medical Marijuana Firm Jumping the Gun

A medical practice that now says it will open in January in Framingham may have to wait months before it can write its first recommendation for medical marijuana.

A medical marijuana company that now plans to open early in 2013 will likely have to wait months longer before it can write any recommendations for medical marijuana, under the state's new law, Town Manager Bob Halpin said Tuesday night at the Framingham Selectmen's meeting. 

As first reported by Framingham Patch last week, CannaMed of Boston has made plans to open a Framingham office at 945 Concord St., where doctors will meet with patients and review medical records to see if they qualify to receive medical marijuana recommendations.

CannaMed has originally said it would be open for business before the end of 2012, telling a Patch reporter that appointments were being scheduled as early as Dec. 15. But the company on Monday said it would . 

But while the practice may be able to open its doors, it may be well into the new year before any recommendations can be written or filled, Halpin told Selectmen Tuesday.

The law set a deadline of April 1 for regulations to be promulgated by the Department of Public Health. The Massachusetts Municipal Association is supporting a move to push that date back to July 1 to give more time for community concerns to be considered.  

The law allows patients with a host of conditions and illnesses to receive prescriptions and medical marijuana cards to enable them to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana. The law also allows for the licensing of dispensaries across the state, which has created concern in many communities about their location and regulation. 

Noting "media attention" about the first wave of marijuana-related companies, Halpin said CannaMed "created the indication that they are open for business."

"Until those regulations are put in place, there are no prescriptions and there certainly are no facilities to fill them,"  he added. 

A local working group that includes the chief of police, the Board of Health and the Planning Board has begun to meet on the topic and should have a report on possible local regulations for marijuana dispensaries by sometime in January. 

Malcolm Kyle December 05, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Prohibition has finally run its course: Our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted. What was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. During alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, all profits went to enrich thugs and criminals. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on treatment. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?
Steve Adams December 05, 2012 at 05:47 PM
So, here comes the push-back...the people spoke on election day, but now the town "leaders" don't want it in their neck of the woods...What are these "regulations" from DPH? under the table payoffs? a waste of time, that's what it is...I also see this happening when the casinos are finally built "Wait a minute, we need some more regulations"...
Paul Hurteau January 10, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Here are what the regulations should be: No sales to persons under 21! That pretty much sums it up!

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