Patrick Brushes Off Concerns Over Marijuana Dispensary Delays – New England Public Radio

Gov. Deval Patrick and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki in Holyoke.Gov. Deval Patrick and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki in Holyoke.
(Photo Credit: Henry Epp for NEPR)

by: Henry Epp April 28, 2014

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says he’s not concerned by word that medical marijuana dispensaries are going to open later than first thought.

The state’s Department of Public Health has come under fire from lawmakers and advocates over how it’s given out licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. Critics allege the department played favorites in the application process, and some companies lied in their applications. Now advocates are worried that dispensaries, still waiting on their final licenses, won’t be able to open until late summer at the earliest. Governor Patrick says he’s sensitive to the needs of marijuana patients, but isn’t concerned with the timing.

“This is a brand new space for us to be in, and I think it’s really important we do it carefully, and I think DPH is taking their time and the time they should take to make sure it’s done well,” Patrick says.

Patrick says, if he had his druthers, the 2012 referendum that legalized medical marijuana never would have happened. He says that’s not because he’s hostile to the idea, but because there’s so much else for the state to focus on.

The Associated Press and State House News Service contributed to this report.

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