With the passage of Question 3 during the Nov. 6 electino cities and towns around Massachusetts are left to set regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Voters approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, as prescribed by a doctor, by a 63 to 37 percent margin. With the approval comes the creation of marijuana dispensaries—"non-profit treatment centers that will grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers," according to the Secretary of State.
There are already state regulations built into Question 3, which require the dispensaries to apply and pay for a Department of Public Health registration, as well as submit operating procedures, including the mandatory storage of marijuana in locked facilities.
Communities will also need to set local regulations for dispensaries.
Lexington Police Chief Mark Corr, who voiced his opposition to Question 3 prior to the election, told Patch he's researching what it would take for a marijuana dispensery to open in Lexington, and any local bylaws that could prevent it from happening.
Corr said he's also identifying the communities that have passed bylaws prohibiting the public use of marijuana, and could bring that type of measure forward in the future.
Town Manager Carl Valente said he has had preliminary discussions with Corr, but had not spoken yet with other officials, including the Planning Director, Zoning Administrator and Board of Selectmen.
And, with a special Town Meeting on tap for next week and Vistaprint tax increment financing request to get sorted, Valente said he doesn't expect to get to those discussions for another few weeks.
Massachusetts is the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana. Dispensaries have popped up all over the United States, and there are websites dedicated to finding them, including: WeedMaps.com.
Colorado has marijuana dispensaries in place, which were overloaded with callers seeking pot for recreational use last week, according to News5 KOAA.com.
Marijuana has been used to help with several medical conditions in the 17 other states where it was legal before Nov. 6.
According to Pain Management of America, "Some of the more common conditions and symptoms treated with medical marijuana include chronic pain, nausea, glaucoma, seizure disorders, cancer, diabetes [and] muscle spasms."
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that an Oakland, CA dispensary generated nearly $1 million in tax revenue and sells approximately $20 million in pot annually.