MA: Medical Marijuana Purveyor Could Apply For Recreational Sales

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The owner of the Island’s first and only licensed medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation facility has officially shown interest in obtaining a license to sell recreational marijuana as well.

The Cannabis Control Commission recently released a list of business entities who have received priority certification, which means they can apply early for recreational marijuana licensing. An application from Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard, owned by Island businessman Geoff Rose, was submitted on April 3, according to Cannabis Control Commission records. Patient Centric was granted the certification on April 10.

Mr. Rose confirmed that he is taking next steps in the application process for a recreational license.

“There’s a process, and I’m currently reviewing the community outreach guidelines,” he told the Gazette Tuesday.

Community outreach guidelines require prospective marijuana retailers to hold a public meeting to present their business plan and discuss community impacts. The guidelines also require a host community agreement with the host town. Mr. Rose is licensed to sell medical marijuana in West Tisbury. He declined to say what town he might consider for recreational sales.

“This effort needs to be done by mature, responsible individuals who have a knowledge of the industry and as importantly an understanding of the community and a caring of the community,” he said.

Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard was one of 55 registered marijuana dispensaries to complete an application for priority certification in Massachusetts as of April 9, according to records from the Cannabis Control Commission’s meeting on the issue.

Those who received priority certification can apply for recreational licensing starting this week. Others have to wait until the first of May or the first of June, depending on eligibility. Sale of recreational, or adult-use, marijuana is expected to begin this summer in Massachusetts.

If he does apply for a marijuana establishment license, the commission has 90 days to review the application once all required documents are submitted. The municipality has 60 days after the application is submitted to notify the commission of any issues with local ordinances or bylaws.

Mr. Rose was the only Islander to receive a provisional license to grow and sell medical marijuana from the Department of Public Health in 2016. Since then, he has cleared local permitting with the town and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and construction has gotten underway at a cultivation facility on Dr. Fisher Road in West Tisbury. He plans to open his medical dispensary at a separate storefront on State Road sometime next year.

West Tisbury selectmen, together with town counsel Ron Rappaport, are in the process of drafting a community host agreement with Mr. Rose for Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard. Other towns have used such agreements to require marijuana dispensaries and distributors to pay thousands of dollars in extra impact fees. In discussion of the agreement, selectmen have indicated that they don’t plan to require Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard to pay significant fees for the first year of business.