First Medical Marijuana Shop Proposal Yanked

medical marijuanaMarijuana photo via Shutterstock

For a while it was looking like Wakefield would be the first town to open a medical marijuana compassion center—which we’ll all be calling dispensaries soon enough, so let’s just get on with it—but now the guy who was seeking a Town Meeting bylaw to let his organization open such a center has changed his mind … at least for now.

According to reports from Wicked Local Melrose, the man, Carl Swanson, pulled his ballot a few days after it was certified fearing voters might confuse his question with the statewide Massachusetts Medical Marijuana initiative that voters will decide at the polls this year. Something like that, anyway. Wakefield’s Town Meeting is a week after the election on Nov. 6, but whatevs.

If marijuana is approved (tiny, minuscule if), the green gold rush will be on. Frankly, it seems good for organizations like Swanson’s National Organization for Positive Medicine to be out there in front, proving that people who support marijuana aren’t lazy layabouts but real business folks who see profit in the plants.

As written, the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana initiative would allow up to 35 dispensaries across the state, but no more than five in any individual county. The centers are to be non-profit, but that doesn’t mean the people running them won’t get rich. After all, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is also a non-profit and its musical director does makes a decent living.

Wakefield voters will still face a Town Meeting question seeking to ban all dispensaries from opening in the town, and the residents of Reading will consider a similar question. So even if medical marijuana passes in the polls, it appears towns will reserve right to exclude that type of entity from opening within their borders.

Swanson told Wicked Local that he won’t rule out proposing a dispensary in Wakefield again, but said he wanted to wait until statewide voters weigh in on the medical marijuana initiative. Sounds to me like he’s maybe looking around for less hostile territory.