State officials announced yesterday that the first medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts has been approved. Specifically, the state Department of Public Health green-lighted a proposal by Alternative Therapies Group (ATG) to open a dispensary at 50 Grove Street in Salem. A spokesman for the Department of Public Health, Scott Zoback, told the press that ATG was the very first to be permitted to open shop because it was the first medical marijuana dispensary to navigate through inspection.
Property in nearby Amesbury has been selected as the cultivation site for the clinic’s marijuana. While the certificate of registration awarded to ATG goes so far as to permit them to grow their own medical marijuana, the entire process takes months. Zoback had no idea when the business would be prepared to begin selling medical marijuana.
Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray reported: “Throughout the entire process, I have been impressed with the management team at ATG. They have been cooperative and professional. I am happy to see them reach this milestone, and I look forward to seeing ATG develop as a positive contributor to the Amesbury community.”
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll stated she felt “very pleased that Alternative Therapies has received the first certificate of registration in the commonwealth. From the outset, the team at ATG has been forthright and professional.” She added that ATG ‘went out of its way” to meet with city officials and local Salem business owners in order to “explain what they will be doing.”
Prior to ATG dispensing or even transporting the marijuana, however, the actual dispensary will be subjected to further evaluation “including inspections of its transportation plans and testing of its plants once they are grown.”
State Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz concluded: “Selecting dispensaries that meet our high standards takes time. But ensuring a launch of this new industry the right way for the people of Massachusetts is a top priority.”
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