Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana in 2012, and there are currently 27,000 registered patients throughout the state. Yet this week was the opening week for the very first dispensary to open up in the Boston area – and only the seventh dispensary in the entire state. Due to excessive hoops to jump through, licensing is not easy to obtain in the state, which has led to very few dispensaries being open in relationship to the large number of patients looking for medicinal cannabis products.
The shop run by Patriot Care (a sub-company of Columbia LLC) is located at 21 Milk Street – an address that has been vacant for over 10 years now. The company decided to take over the historic spot and bring new life to it – hoping to fit in well with the city. This is the second location for Patriot Care and they are equipped to handle up to 150 customers a day; though they don’t expect that all at first (but 200 patients have already registered to purchase their products).
“Being the first dispensary permitted to open in the City of Boston is a privilege for every member of our local and national organization. Our mission of improving lives is at the core of everything we do. Expanding access to this natural medicine will have the potential to improve the lives of thousands of patients and their families,” Columbia Care CEO Nicholas Vita said in a press release.
“We are grateful for and humbled by the support we have received from patients, our neighbors, the City of Boston, the State of Massachusetts and stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth. Our organization is proud to provide access to the patients of Massachusetts and to be a community member of one of the most dynamic and historic cities in the United States.”
Even now, however, some Boston residents aren’t sure they are happy about the dispensaries opening. The company has agreed to have a police detail outside during business hours and has promised there will be no lines out the door and beyond. Some business owners are worried about potential traffic from those looking to score and some residents fear that the dispensary could hurt their newly rejuvenated city and bring it back to being a crime-filled area.
However, the company has taken every measure to make their shop look as professional as they possibly can, much like a physician’s office or a pharmacy. They will be offering products such as peanut butter and ginger cannabis cookies, and multiple strains like Sour Kush – and even the ever popular Raw rolling papers and pre-rolled cones. But the atmosphere is very much of a medicinal place of healing, as a medical marijuana dispensary should be.
Whether or not Boston residents were all ready for it, patients have waited for four years without easy access to their medicine – and now they will have one more option as far as locations to visit. With only seven dispensaries in the entire state, this second location of Patriot Care will likely receive a lot of attention in the following weeks – and they appear to be well prepared for it.