State issues draft of medical marijuana regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is releasing draft medical marijuana regulations on Friday. (File/Reuters)
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is expected to release draft medical marijuana regulations Friday. Credit: Reuters

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health filed proposed regulations (PDF) Friday to govern the distribution and use of medical marijuana in the Bay State.

Voters approved a ballot initiative in November allowing patients with certain medical conditions to obtain 60 days’ worth of marijuana to ease their symptoms.

The new regulations define key terms and issues, including how patients and doctors register with the state, the process for dispensaries – officially known as Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers – who is allowed to grow pot on their own and what constitutes a 60-day supply.

DPH is not defining which medical conditions would qualify someone to receive marijuana, leaving that question up to doctors and patients.

“DPH solicited an unprecedented level of input in drafting these regulations to create a medical marijuana system that is right for Massachusetts,” interim DPH Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith said in a statement. “In this proposal, we have sought to achieve a balanced approach that will provide appropriate access for patients, while maintaining a secure system that keeps our communities safe.”

As many as 35 dispensaries could open statewide, although some communities have already passed local ordinances to keep the businesses out of their communities.

The public comment period has begun, and will last until April 20. A public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held April 19.

The state Public Health Council is expected to vote on the plans in early May; if approved, the rules would take effect May 24.

Massachusetts is one of 18 states that has legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to DPH.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…