City health officials want more medical marijuana regulations

Credit: Flickr/Blind Nomad
Credit: Blind Nomad/flickr

The city’s Board of Health will be asked to consider passing a regulation to allow the Boston Public Health Commission to permit and regularly inspect medical marijuana dispensaries in Boston.

“The siting of medical marijuana dispensaries in Boston raises local concerns that need to be addressed,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the health commission. “We plan to work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to make certain that dispensaries are appropriately managed and adhere to local and state regulations.

“We need to support patient access as well as ensure that neighborhood and public health interests are met, and we believe that an additional local regulation can help accomplish that balance.”

Boston’s proposal comes after a recent deadline when Phase I applications for opening a registered medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts were due to the state Department of Public Health.

In addition to providing local permitting and inspection authority, a Board of Health regulation in Boston would allow city officials to address issues that are not currently covered by state regulations.

Officials said the local regulation would require dispensaries in Boston to deliver medical marijuana to patients who might experience a hardship getting to the dispensary site. Setting standards for educational materials that patients receive, placing additional limitations on signage and advertising beyond the state requirements, limiting hours of operation, and requiring extra security for dispensaries that plan to operate after dark are additional suggested components of a proposed regulation.

The commission said it would work closely with the city’s Inspectional Services Department to ensure that facilities in Boston are in compliance with all existing state and city regulations governing the operation of dispensaries and distribution of medical marijuana.

Since last November, the health commission, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Inspectional Services Department and the Boston Police Department have been working together to review the new law and the state regulations, and to address concerns identified by residents and patients.

In December, the Boston Zoning Commission approved an amendment to the zoning code that would prohibit dispensaries from opening in residential areas and make them a conditional use in most other parts of the city, requiring applicants to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals. The state regulations also require dispensaries to be at least 500 feet from schools, daycare centers and other places where children congregate, such as community centers. Municipalities have discretion to create more stringent requirements for the location of dispensaries.

In the first round of applications, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health plans to license up to 35 medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, including at least one but no more than five in each county. The state will review Phase I applicants for financial viability and criminal history. Applicants accepted in Phase I will then be invited to submit Phase II applications, which will involve a much more thorough review of the detailed business, security and personnel plans for each proposed dispensary.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.