Let’s take a glance at the past week or so in pot reform across America. In conservative Pennsylvania, medical marijuana squeezed through the senate law and justice committee. In Minnesota, patients have been given opportunities to tell lawmakers why new permissions there should cover those with chronic pain. Even in New York, once widely believed to be an impossible front for cannabis crusaders, the state assembly saw the light, passing a law that will allow some non-smoking consumption.
Then there’s Massachusetts, which today stepped in its Brahmin time machine and drunk drove it off a cliff. After a tense months-long waiting period, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that it will only award provisional certificates to 11 of the 20 dispensaries that pulled through the first selection round (see below for which ones, but since you asked, former U.S. Congressman Bill Delahunt was denied all three that he applied for). That’s not all; for a variety of absurd reasons, the DPH swung a wrecking ball through the entire medical pot community at once, also cracking down on controversial caregiver Bill Downing, a sometimes Dig contributor and longtime MassCann activist who has sought to fill gaps left by DPH negligence.
There’s almost too much shrapnel to sort through. For one, Boston and Cambridge residents can forget about having local dispensary access anytime soon. Both Good Chemistry of Massachusetts and Green Heart Holistic Health and Pharmaceuticals, the first round survivors whose applicants had hoped to operate in Boston, were denied licenses.
We could sit here and argue for another several months over whether the state acted appropriately, but the truth is there are countless culprits behind the bureaucratic mess that has unfolded since 2012, when voters overwhelmingly approved medical pot. From the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe, which are already beating theirs chests since application errors their reporters caught helped foment this disaster – “Teacher, teacher, you forgot to give us homework!!!” – to municipal goons who lack the courage to support patients, there’s lots of blame to go around.
We’ll be spreading lots of guilt and shame, but for now, a word from Andrew D’Angelo of Green Heart Holistic which, to the consternation of the powerless and delight of the powerful, will not be opening in Massachusetts. To Andrew, John Greene of Greeneway Wellness, and all the other well-meaning providers who were shunned by the commonwealth today (and even those who just wanted to make a quick buck selling perfectly safe medicine), we’re more embarrassed than the time in high school when we told our friends that it was cool to smoke at our house, but wound up getting beaten up and robbed by our moron big brother and his drunken idiot friends.
“Green Heart is disappointed by the DPH announcement,” D’Angelo wrote in a prepared statement to media about an hour ago. “Our only regret is that we will not have the opportunity to bring our pioneering best practices, gold standard industry model to the patients and greater community of Boston. We deeply thank the many people who have supported our efforts in Boston, and wish for the good health and wellness of all its citizens.”
CONTACT THE DPH
617-624-5062 | firstname.lastname@example.org
DISPENSARIES COMING ONE OF THESE DAYS …
Alternative Therapies Group (Salem)
Bay State Relief (Milford)
Central Ave. Compassionate Care (Ayer)
Garden Remedies (Newton)
Healthy Pharms (Haverhill)
In Good Health (Brockton)
New England Treatment Access (Brookline and Northampton)
Patriot Care Corp. (Lowell)
William Noyes Webster Foundation (Dennis)
DISPENSARIES SCREWED BY THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
Brighton Health Advocates (Fairhaven)
Debilitating Medical Condition Treatment Centers (Holyoke)
Good Chemistry of Massachusetts (Worcester and Boston)
Green Heart Holistic Health and Pharmaceuticals (Boston)
Medical Marijuana of Massachusetts (Plymouth, Mashpee, Taunton)
Greeneway Wellness Foundation (Cambridge)