Massachusetts panel approves regulations for medical marijuana

In Regulatory, Top Stories by David Silverberg

On May 8, Massachusetts public health officials approved final regulations for the use of medical marijuana, effective on May 24. The first registered, nonprofit dispensary for medical marijuana could open in January, as MassLive.com reports.

The new regulations now propel the licensure process for medical marijuana dispensaries, limits on how much marijuana a patient can generally use, and ways to ensure access to low-income patients.

The regulations include a limit of 10 ounces of marijuana on a 60-day supply and a requirement that doctors  prescribe the drug for debilitating conditions such as cancer, HIV, AIDS and multiple sclerosis.

Also, patients whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty line would qualify for the medical marijuana program.

Voters decriminalized possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in 2008 and legalized its use for medical purposes in 2012, however the drug is still outlawed by federal law, and it is still a class D controlled substance under state law, as the Lowell Sun explains.

According to Metro, Massachusetts health officials said when they were forming regulations they received hundreds of oral and written comments and held dozens of hearings. Some of the rules were changed based on the public’s comments and concerns, the report adds.

Photo courtesy Cannatraining