Nine months after Massachusetts voters signed off on medical marijuana, the state is now starting to accept applications for pot dispensaries.
Those looking to open up dispensaries need to have a lot of cash on-hand even to apply. They need to prove they have $500,000 in escrow, to get the business going. They also have to pass a background check.
If that all goes smoothly, applicants advance to phase 2, which requires them to pay a $30,000 fee. A selection committee will evaluate and score those applications based on a number of criteria including the appropriateness of the location and local support.
Meanwhile the state is not dictating how much dispensaries would have to charge for marijuana. But Valerio Romano, a lawyer in Boston who represents people planning to apply for the licenses, says patients can expect to pay street price – about $300 an ounce. Otherwise, he says, a black market could develop:
“If a dispensary is providing that cannabis to a patient at super low cost, and you’re a patient who doesn’t have funds, there are some patients who might take advantage of that and turn around and sell it on the street and make a profit,” Romano says.
The deadline for phase 1 applications is August 22nd.