Salem, Massachusetts is poised to see the opening of the first medical marijuana dispensary in the state this summer.
The opening announcement of the Alternative Therapy Group in salem came from the Governor of Massachusetts on Friday. The medical marijuana dispensary will open under a one-time temporary waiver, pending more analysis of the products being offered in the dispensary.
Under Massachusetts law, all samples of marijuana used for medical purpose must undergo a strict laboratory analysis. The samples would be checked for contaminants that could further harm the health of those looking for a relief for different diagnoses.
Contaminants that are under the scrutiny of medical laboratories are solvents, metals, traces of pesticide, cannabinoids or mycotoxins.
Two different laboratories are examining the samples submitted by Alternative Therapy Group prior to its official opening. Thus far, the laboratories reported that they could not test seven of the 18 point list mandated contaminants.
Medical personnel conducting the tests stated that the problem does not lie with their operational capabilities, but can rather be found within Massachusetts regulations. A set of comprehensive guidelines was issued six weeks ago, yet the standards for analysis are claimed to be too rigid.
Another drawback is that 18 pesticides are mandated for screening, yet the guideline set does not mention or require testing for residual pesticides that are permitted under the law.
Nonetheless, Governor Charlie Baker announced that Salem’s Alternative Therapy Group will function and sell medical marijuana under the one-time waiver provided the products are labeled to reveal what chemicals have not been tested in the laboratories.
The laxer regulations concerning the use of medical marijuana came with the voter-vetted ballot questions of 2012 which concerned the opening of 35 outlets that would be able to sell marijuana for medical purposes. The diagnoses references included HIV, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, as well as cancer.
In his statement, governor Baker commented that:
“Patients have waited to access marijuana for medical purposes for far too long. This waiver will allow industry laboratories a little more time to reach full operation while providing safe amounts of medical marijuana for qualifying patients who need it.”
Salem’s Alternative Therapy Group will function for three months under the one-time waiver and is allowed to sell only 4.23 ounces of marijuana over a two-months period. The dispensary is strongly advised to urge qualifying patients to not use more than 2 grams daily.
While the waiver is in place, Massachusetts Health Department needs to review the standards for testing the level of metal in the products as advised by laboratories performing the test.
Before opening its doors this summer in Salem, Alternative Therapy Group needs to pass one final inspection.
Image Source: thedailychronic.net