Massachusetts councilors tour Portland dispensary

Three city councilors from Peabody, Massachusetts, traveled to Maine on Thursday to tour two medical marijuana dispensaries run by Wellness Connection, which is seeking state approval to open a shop in Peabody.

Councilors Jon Turco, Joel Saslaw and Tom Rossignoll wanted to see how a dispensary in Peabody might be run. The City Council gave the local go-ahead for the facility in November.

The nonprofit company has run a dispensary in Portland for the past six years, discreetly located in a brick building near downtown. The entrance, in the back, requires someone from inside to buzz you in. Once inside, patients slide their license and medical ID card, a certification, through a slit in the bottom of a glass window to an employee who verifies the prescription.

“We call this the security vestibule, but the nickname we have given it is “the man trap,” CEO Patricia Rosi told the councilors during their visit. “Once you’re there, unless someone lets you in or lets you out, you cannot leave.”

Inside, the wooden doors open to a room with soft green and orange walls, light hardwood floor and birch tree decals that give a natural vibe. Glass cases display the products available for purchase.

Among them is a pouch that prevents the marijuana from getting dry, eliminates odors and has a lock that requires a numbered passcode. They encourage all patients to lock their medication, and provide pamphlets regarding responsible household use.

Staff members, referred to as member liaisons, answer questions about the products Wellness Connection prepares at its cultivation facility in Auburn, about a 40-minute drive north of their Portland depensary. If the company opens a dispensary in Peabody, the marijuana would come from a similar cultivation facility in Revere.

“We can help people if they need things explained to them

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