Greenfield, MA will soon be opening its first medical marijuana dispensary in a building which was once a clubhouse for the American Legion. Patriot Care, which will run the dispensary, won state approval last November. Just last week, the Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously voted to issue them a permit. The dispensary should open in the fall of this year, according to CEO Robert Mayerson. Patriot Care still needs its final state certificate of registration, and to get approval on architectural and security plans. The security system for the facility includes controlled access doors, cameras, and a variety of next-generation technologies. Renovations will begin at the end of March.
Patriot Care focuses on medical marijuana. It also operates dispensaries in Arizona and Washington, DC.
Massachusetts has around 250,000 patients who meet the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. First, patients would need to get a special patient card from the state before seeking out a dispensary. Patriot Care’s facility would be open from 9 am to 7 pm seven days a week, at 7 Legion Way.
Most Greenfield residents are on-board with the new facility. Town residents voted “yes” by a huge majority when the issue came to the ballot in 2012. One resident pointed out that marijuana “definitely relieves the pain, nausea and stress” of many conditions. A local cancer survivor spoke up, commenting from her experience that “people need to have it to get through what they have to get through.” Others pointed out that marijuana is effective for depression, anxiety and as a non-addictive, non-opiate pain reliever.
A new bill is being proposed in Massachusetts, backed by fifteen lawmakers and supported by the Marijuana Policy Project. Under the bill, marijuana would be regulated and taxed just like alcohol. Adults 21 years or older could possess and grow small amounts of marijuana. It would also create a regulated system to oversee and track licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation greenhouses, and curing, processing and testing facilities.
The American Legion is pleased to have the old building taken off its hands. The club has been meeting in the basement of Smitty’s Pub. “We’ll get a substantial infusion of cash from this sale, and all that will be funneled back to the community,” said a spokesman for the group.
Sources: WGGB ABC 40