Medical pot dispensary process moving to Phase 2

Of nearly 200 applicants, only 20 advanced in the first phase

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The deadline for medical marijuana dispensary applications expired Thursday night. The first phase of applications came and went quickly, and if Northampton’s proposal is rejected, western Massachusetts will not be moving on to the second phase.

Applying for a dispensary license has been a complicated process, and residents like Eric Lindsay of Chicopee, find it frustrating. “The medical marijuana stuff is really just dragging and dragging, I hope to see it in the future but, you never know,” he said.

Of nearly 200 statewide applicants, only 20 advanced in the first phase. Northampton’s proposal looked promising for western Massachusetts, until inspectors found the company’s executive entered false information in his application. Now it’s on hold. A different applicant hoped to open a medical marijuana dispensary on Appleton Street in Holyoke, but was denied this month by the Department of Public Health.

If neither application moves forward, Central Massachusetts will have the closest dispensary. Sandy Chevealier of West Springfield hopes western Massachusetts won’t have to wait another year for the next round of license applications. “I don’t really think it’s fair for the cancer patients. There’s not much that can help them ease the pain, and I watched them go through it, my grandson had cancer, that chemotherapy’s bad,” she said.

However, some still oppose dispensaries, like Bob Magovern of Agawam. He told 22 News he still believes medical marijuana will only cause problems. “I don’t think anyone should have a dispensary selling just marijuana, if it’s a medicine it should be sold through a pharmacy,” he said.

Residents in Berkshire, Hampden, and Franklin counties are left without dispensaries in this first phase.

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