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
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…