MA: Provisional License Issued For Marijuana Dispensary On Martha’s Vineyard

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The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Monday issued a provisional license to Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard (PCMV) to operate a registered marijuana dispensary (RMD) in Dukes County. Geoff Rose, chief executive officer of what would be the Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary, said he expects to complete the rigorous setup review and be open for business next fall.

“We are excited to begin the process to serve the patients of Martha’s Vineyard,” Mr. Rose said in a prepared statement. “This has been a lengthy, comprehensive, and complex process. But I have been committed to our mission to provide qualifying patients with the highest-quality medical cannabis and related services in a safe, dignified setting.”

In a telephone conversation with The Times Tuesday, Mr. Rose said the dispensary will occupy the former paint and tool store located at 505 State Road, just to the west of Up-Island Cronig’s in West Tisbury.

The West Tisbury zoning bylaw allows for a RMD in the North Tisbury mixed business district and the light industrial districts by special permit, with a cultivation area not to exceed 1,000 square feet.

Mr. Rose, co-founder of the Our Island Club buying group, was among a group of four applicants who in 2013 applied unsuccessfully for a license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in Dukes County, following a change in state law in 2012.

Although the law required each county in the state to have an RMD, Dukes County was one of four Massachusetts counties that did not receive a license. In response to what was widely considered to be a bungled application and awarding process, in 2014 the Baker administration’s Department of Public Health (DPH) created a more streamlined and efficient RMD application process. Mr. Rose was the only on-Island applicant to seek to open a RMD in the newly established format.

Mr. Rose said the process has been lengthy, while DPH reviewed how it wanted to go through with the application process. In May 2015, they issued new guidelines. Mr. Rose applied in June 2015. He said it took more than one year for DPH to determine the application was “compliant.”

Mr. Rose said receiving the provisional license is the first phase, and only allows him to begin setting up the dispensary, which must be capable of cultivating and dispensing marijuana. The next step is a license to grow, followed by a license to sell, he said.

Asked if he will be able to grow enough to meet demand, Mr. Rose said, “We anticipate that we will be able to do that.”

He likened the dispensary setting “to a very nice doctor’s-type office” where medicine is dispensed. He said a significant amount of security is needed.

Visitors would need to pass through two vestibules and present medical cards before being buzzed into the waiting room.

Asked why Martha’s Vineyard needs an RMD, as opposed to letting people fill prescriptions on the mainland, Mr. Rose estimated there are almost 100 people registered in Dukes County to purchase medical marijuana. “They are showing there is a want and a need for this medicine,” he said.

Mr. Rose said as a percentage, the number of people who qualify to purchase medical marijuana on the Island is greater than the state average.

According to a press release, “The cultivation facility will be supported through the expertise of Ceres Project Management, LLC, a consulting and management company focused on vertical integration solutions for the legal cannabis industry.”

Patient Centric “will cultivate a broad range of strains as well as develop a full complement of medical-infused product.”

The Patient Centric management staff includes Mr. Rose; Henry Geller, an engineer and software developer; and Barbara Conroy. The board members are Mr. Rose; Eleanor S. Beth, a community volunteer and former Plymouth town manager; Julia Burgess, former executive director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services; and Dr. Judith A. Merion, a psychiatrist in private practice on Martha’s Vineyard.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Provisional License Issued For Marijuana Dispensary On Martha’s Vineyard
Author: Nelson Sigelman
Contact: Martha’s Vineyard Times
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Website: Martha’s Vineyard Times