Vermont Could Have Dispensaries Open by End of the Year
The state of Vermont received four applications Friday from people wanting to open up medical marijuana dispensaries, some of which could be open by the end of the year.
There was some controversy about how secret the information about the applicants is going to be kept, but officials said that communities will know exactly who is opening a business in their area, which is only fair. Privacy is one thing, but an anonymous business is not likely to last in any neighborhood, if it opens at all.
“By having dispensaries we can ensure patients have a safe, reliable medication that is not putting them out on the black market,” said Virginia Renfrew of the Vermont People with AIDS Coalition. She said the dispensaries will be a welcome addition for patients who rely on cannabis to ease pain and stimulate appetite.
Dispensaries are an integral part of any medical marijuana system. Not everyone wants to grow, or is even able to grow, depending on their ailments.
Vermont’s medical marijuana law is considered rather strict, with regulations that prohibit a dispensary from advertising, limit the number of patients they may serve and doesn’t allow patients to use their medicine at the dispensary.
The regulations could be a reason the number of applications is so low, said Renfrew. Strict or not, at least some patients will get relief, and advocates can get to work on expanding the list of qualifying ailments.
Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger has voiced concerns over “safety” issues that might arise around a dispensary. “If the state of Vermont chooses to award one of the newly authorized dispensaries to a Burlington operator, I will be working closely with the City Council and Burlington police to carefully review this new issue,” he said.
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