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Lexington Could Look Into Regulating Marijuana Dispensaries

Lexington officials are beginning to look into the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries following last week's approval of Question 3.

 

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.

Margo November 14, 2012 at 03:18 PM
You said: "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." Our dispensaries would be non profit organizations so the state would get no tax revenue because the state can not tax non profit organizations.
Margo November 14, 2012 at 03:22 PM
As DOJ has said on many occasions, Congress has determined through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) that marijuana is a Schedule I drug and as such growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity save a federal research program is in “violation of federal law regardless of state laws permitting such activities” (U.S. DOJ, U.S. Attorneys Durkan and Ormsby, April 14, 2011). DOJ has further stated that “this core priority [of disrupting drug trafficking organizations] includes prosecution of business enterprises that unlawfully market and sell marijuana”(U.S. DOJ, U.S. Attorneys Durkan and Ormsby, April 14, 2011). ...
Patrick Ball (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Fair point. That line, like the one about Colorado dispensaries, was meant to provide an idea of about dispensaries in other states are doing. Thank you for the clarification. --pb
shmalphy November 14, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Seriously? Get a life... The people have spoken.. Take your "big brother knows best" bureaucratic bull shit somewhere else.. This is AMERICA.... Land of the FREE
Kelly O November 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
This has become a place where Americans are killed all over the world and you people care more about marijuana.Disgraceful !
Rick November 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Right on, Kelly O!!! We're off fighting a war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all these women talk about is their own reproductive rights! How selfish! Chief Corr- Please keep these pot-selling stores off our streets! You are the one that must save us from the convenience of having a pot shop right down the road. Let's make all these pot-smoking hippies drive 5 minutes to any neighboring town so they can purchase their ganja. Thank you for taking a stand against the 65% of Lexingtonians who voted yes on Q3 (don't believe me! check with the town clerk). Who cares about a majority when you have authority, am I right chief!? I applaud you. Thank you for serving Lexington
Aaron November 21, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Adult pot heads are scary.
Steven Epstein November 27, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Question 3 2012 Yes 11461 - No 6030 -Blank 861 % all ballots 62.5 - % yes no ballots 65.5 http://ci.lexington.ma.us/townclerk/Election%20Results/2012_11_06%20Pres-State%20Elec%20Unofficial.pdf Question 2 - 2008 Yes 11868 - NO 5575 -BLANKS 519 % all ballots 66.1 - % yes no ballots 68 http://ci.lexington.ma.us/townclerk/l11.4.08finalresults.final.pdf Given these results any local bylaw prohibiting and punishing public consumption or zoning proposal should not only need approval of town meeting, but by a separate vote at an election, just like a Prop 2-1/2 issue. Also perhaps the chief should resign as he is very out of step with the voters.

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